Police stations in Dhaka have been asked to ensure that photos of the victims' face and body parts, particularly the parts with marks of bruises, are attached with the dockets of murder or unnatural death (UD) cases.
Such attachments would help identify the victims in a short time, and, eventually, expedite the investigation, said a letter issued by Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) on September 6.
The move has already been welcomed by officials posted at different police stations.
It would reduce the difficulties usually faced by an investigation officer (IO) when he or she takes over the investigation of a case from another IO. Some officials had earlier experimented with the technique of keeping victims’ photos in case dockets, but the letter had instructed to make it compulsory for all the cases, they noted.
The Dhaka Tribune has obtained some parts of the letter, signed by DMP Additional Commissioner (Crime and Operation) Krishna Pada Roy. The letter says: “It has to be ensured that the victims’ pictures are included in case documents so that the investigation is not hampered. Such pictures would also help the judicial proceedings. Such pictures can help recognise the unidentified bodies.”
The letter also instructed copies of the pictures to be forwarded to officials of the DMP's media wing for publishing on DMP's News Portal and Facebook page so that relatives of the victims can verify and contact police within a very short time.
In addition, DMP also instructed all the police stations under its jurisdiction to take victims’ fingerprints and search for their match in the National ID database, said DMP sources.
Darus Salam police station Officer-in-Charge Md Selimujjaman told the Dhaka Tribune: “For murder and UD cases, the victim's body is treated as the main evidence in the investigation. So, the attachment of its pictures with the case documents is necessary.
“The investigation is halted when the dead body of a victim cannot be identified. Such delays make it easy for criminals to get the time needed to run away.
“This step would help to complete the case investigation in a shorter time. It will also help the judicial process of the case,” the OC added.
DMP’s Deputy Commissioner (Media) Masudur Rahman, echoing Darus Salam, said: “Police officials may be transferred anytime due to the job nature, and the cases that were being investigated by the transferred official would go to a new official. If the case documents contain the pictures of the victims, it would make the investigation easier for the new officer.”