The new trend in Bangladesh right now is to go digital. Everywhere you look or everyone you talk to, people are either starting an IT company or working in one that you have never heard of. Apparently, the Bangladesh Police has also been bitten by the digital bug, and they are offering a limited but none the less effective online system of filing a GD or General Diary.
Usually, to file a General Diary, you will need to locate the Police Station of the area where the crime has taken place and visit it. However If you don’t know where the Police Station is for a particular area, you may go for the nearest one or a one you know. Afterwards. you fill out the application in details and hand it over to the duty officer. The application needs to be addressed to the OC or Officer in Charge of the police station and it must provide certain details such as your name, present address, permanent address and contact number. After receiving the application the duty officer will put it down in a register and will give you a number. This is you GD serial number for the purpose of all future references. This sometime might feel like a bit frustrating.
To ease the process and be more citizen friendly, few years back, Bangladesh Police started an online GD filing service. Though it had very limited functionality back then, it has improved vastly in recent times. The service is called CHR or Citizen Help Request and is currently fully operational in Dhaka City, Currently, Not all types of complaints can be filed, most serious offences still need to filed in person at the appropriate station. All non-serious offences and crimes can be filed completely online via this system. The criteria for non-serious complaints include:
Information on Eve Teasing
Information on Snatching
Information about loss/theft of certificate, ID and documents
Information about Night Guard, Guard, Servant, Caretaker
Information about new/old tenants
The procedure is fairly simple. Simply, go to the website and fill out the form. The address is “http://chr.police.gov.bd/.” The form takes one page, is typed in simple English and can be filled out in minutes. Upon completion of the form, you will be provided with a GD serial number, After a period of one week, you will need to take that serial number to the appropriate station and pick up your official copy of the complaint. As you might have guessed, this system has some limitations. For one, most serious offences and crimes cannot be reported online, the service focuses mostly on the non-serious ones. The reason for this is because those crimes or offences require much more in depth legal and legislative paperwork and procedure to process and file. For two, you need to go to the station to pick up your official GD copy (using the GD serial number provided at the site after submitting the form.) Since you have to go to the station anyways, its actually faster to avoid the online method and visit the station yourself. Although official sources say that there are plans to upgrade this service to get rid of the limitations soon, this is a purely tentative date. However on the whole, this is a wonderful initiative from the part of DMP or Dhaka Metropolitan Police and it’s definitely a step in the right direction.