The Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) dependency on local police stations is going to end by this year as the construction of a separate custody facility has already been completed at the commission's Segunbagicha headquarters in the capital.
The commission is now preparing a manual for the functionality of the lock-up. “Hopefully it [manual] will be completed by this year. Once it is prepared, we'll be able to keep arrestees in our own custody,” said Muhammad Munir Chowdhury, director general of the ACC.
At present, the ACC has to hand over the accused to nearby police stations after making an arrest, creating complexities oftentimes.
The newly constructed seven-storied building behind the ACC's main building will house the facility where 20 detainees could be accommodated. There will be separate accommodations for male and female accused.
Yesterday, at a views-exchange meeting with the representatives of GIZ, a German development organisation, Munir said, “Once the commission approves the draft manual, we'll finalise the policy,” he said.
Talking to The Daily Star, Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya, ACC public relations officer, said to operate such a custody, the commission will need to address several issues such as security.
“We're now discussing how these issues will be handled,” he said. “The accused will be kept in the custody for an interim period until they are produced before a court.”
Last week, 20 armed police members were attached to the commission to facilitate smooth execution of anti-graft drives as there had been a long-time demand that the ACC be strengthened and its force be safeguarded during raids.
In February, four including three ACC officials were beaten up at Sylhet deputy commissioner's (DC's) office, as they made attempt to arrest a staffer who was caught red-handed while taking bribe.
Officials believe the recent activities will strengthen the anti-graft watchdog's mission against corruption.
Meanwhile at the meeting, Iqbal Mahmood, the ACC chairman, advised ACC officials to upgrade their strategies so corruption suspects can not get away. “The more ACC officials continue their positive works, the more the commission's image improves.”