Chandpur, Nov 9 (UNB) – A recipient of Bangladesh Police Medal (BPM) for outstanding service, Shamsunnahar has been the first lady police superintendent (SP) of the district since June 2015.
Relentlessly working with zeal to fight against militancy, early marriage and drug abuse in society, her crusade against these three elements have brought her respect from the peace-loving people of the district.
Alongside carrying out her duties, she said, it is needed to fight against these three elements as they are, in her words, “destroying the family bonding and social harmony”.
Since October 2015, she has also been working with oppressed women and children, as they were frequently visiting her for help, coming from broken families, Shamsunnahar told UNB in an interview.
Shamsunnahar said she involves locally-elected representatives in settling the family problems of those who come to her.
Her intermediary abilities spread across the district by word of mouth and were increasing in numbers every day. This caused her to open a separate branch named ‘Nari O Shishu Shohayota Kendra’ at her office, where the police personnel concerned of 8 upazilas lend their support to this end.
Asked about support from her peers during her initial stages, she admitted they were apprehensive at first, but gradually became more cooperative in the process.
Shamsunnahar informed that her office deals with 25 family cases on average, which are settled amicably or by means of compromise.
Dealing with these issues, she confessed that it keeps her at the office till the late hours of the night almost every day. The issues range from divorce, dowry demands, early marriage, tortures and abuses related to dowry, and more.
But she feels happy to contribute to the betterment of society and doing something for women.
Every time she enters office, she witnesses a crowd of women with children on their laps in front of the reception desk or the help desk, just to meet her once.
Upon investigation earlier last month, the UNB correspondents corroborated with this statement, citing a huge number of men and women waiting in her office and outside the premises.
Local shopkeepers in the area, Kalu Bepary, 48, and Farid Ahmed Ripon, 40, acknowledged the daily crowds outside of the district SP’s office, asserting that the influx of those waiting have increased the sale of their shop’s items such as bread, banana, tea, betel leaves and more.
Locals in the area also agreed that more and more people are coming to the SP’s office, an unprecedented feat.
Stumbling across Jannat, 24, a burkha-clad mother to a son and a divorcee from Sadar upazila’s Bagadi area, she wanted to speak to Shamsunnahar, fondly called ‘SP Apa’, seeking her intervention as to why her husband, Habib Hawlader, divorced her despite meeting his dowry demand of Tk 1.7 lakh.
Shahnaz Begum, 25, hailing from JTC Coolie Bagan in the district town, close to the Meghna River, came with her mother and neighbours as they were all recently beaten up by drug peddlers for meddling about their local drug den.
The police arrested Shahnaz’s younger brother, Tuhin, without any charges so she was seeking SP Apa’s intervention in this matter.
Azad Bepary, 45, hails from Moinabad, Hajiganj, seeks justice for his daughter, whose husband left her for no fault of her own.
Another woman, Nahar, 30, also from Moinabad, wants SP Apa to help her retrieve Tk 1.10 lakh which her close relatives had taken as loan and had not repaid for a long period of time.
SP Shamsunnahar said although the district’s additional superintendents and officers-in-charge (OCs) are all cooperating in taking care of most of the matters, they come to her because they can present their cases more confidently before her.
“They perceive me to be a source of their power,” she added.
Shamsunnahar has suggested the idea of organising football competitions across the district to sway the youth away from militancy, drugs and early marriage.
Today, local MPs and union parishad chairmen inaugurate the local competitions for the youth, with a vow not to involve themselves in the aforementioned vices.
She has also arranged art and essay competitions in all academic levels to raise awareness about the deadly nature of those three elements.
For implementing these programmes, all the heads and teachers of academic institutions have lent their full support to achieve her vision.
She revealed that the winning football teams, essays and artworks will receive prizes from the Inspector General of Police very soon.
SP Shamsunnar, or SP Apa, has pledged to continue rendering her unconditional services for the oppressed in Chandpur as long as she is posted there.