BGB will be world’s best border force: PM hopes

DHAKA, Dec 20, 2016 (BSS)-Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today expressed her firm optimism that Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) would move forward upholding its glorious history and turn into the best border force in the world.

She said the mutiny that took place at Pilkhana on February 25-26 in 2009 is a black chapter in the history of the force. The Border Guard Bangladesh Act-2010 was enacted aimed at building a modern and time-befitting border force, she added.

The prime minister was addressing the BGB Parade marking the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Day-2016 at BGB headquarters at Pilkhana here.

Sheikh Hasina said the flag of the BGB was raised on January 23, 2011 to expedite the operational activities of the force. With the sincere efforts of all the BGB is now a dynamic and modern force, she said.

On her arrival at BGB headquarters, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and director general of BGB Major General Abul Hossain received the prime minister. She was given a state salute amid playing of the national anthem at that time.

On the occasion, an attractive parade was arranged at Bir Uttam Anwar Hossain Parade Ground at BGB headquarters. The prime minister reviewed the parade and took salute. Deputy director general of the BGB Amirul Islam Sikder was the parade commander.

Cabinet members, chiefs of the three services, diplomats and high civil and military officials were present.

The prime minister handed over BGB Medal (BGBM) to 10 BGB members,

President Border Guard Medal (PBGM) to 20 BGB members, BGB Medal-Service (BGBMS) to 10 BGB members and PBGM-Service (PBGMS) to 19 BGB members for their courageous and brilliant contribution to various activities of the BGB.

The prime minister witnessed the attractive 'Trick Drill' and the 'Dog Squad Display' of the BGB during the parade.

Recalling the glorious history of members of the then EPR, which is now BGB, the prime minister said the force has a very glorious role in the War of Liberation. The EPR force was in the fore to forge resistance against Pakistani force in 1971 responding to the call of the Father of the Nation.

They broadcast the proclamation of independence of Bangabandhu across the country. On that charge Pakistani occupation force killed three EPR members including Subedar Major Showkat Ali, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said around 12,000 Bangalee members of the old border force took part in the War of Liberation. Two of them earned gallantry award Birshrestra, eight Bir Uttams, 32 Bir Bikrams and 77 Bir Pratiks, glorifying the history of the Liberation War, she said.

The prime minister said 817 members of the force embraced martyrdom in the fight with the Pakistani army and their collaborators.

Pointing out the mutiny and indiscriminate killing in the force in February 2009, she said at that time her administration had to tackle a heinous act and unstable situation soon after formation of the government.

The government tackled the situation and foiled all evil designs of the conspirators with patience and carefully. "International community has praised our farsighted steps taken for establishing discipline in the force," she said adding that her government would have been able to overcome the situation by the concerted efforts of all.

The prime minister said the loyalty of the BGB members is tested. The BGB is now turned into a dynamic and modern force with the sincere efforts of all. The goodwill and dignity of the force has been restored due to hard work of all members of the force, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said the BGB members are entrusted with a great task of protecting the country's border. Besides, they are playing a very

praiseworthy role in aid to the civil administration to maintain law and order and tackle any difficult situation during natural disaster, accident and other emergencies.

The prime minister appreciated the role of BGB in protecting the lives and property of the people through containing the arson attacks and vandalism unleashed by the BNP-Jamaat activists in 2015.

"You have played a praiseworthy role in resisting the arsonists," she said adding, "Your steadfast role in the border helped contain smuggling, drug peddling, women and child trafficking and border crimes".

Sheikh Hasina said border killing is a cause of grave concern for us though such killings came down remarkably in the recent years due to close ties with the BSF.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has enacted the BGB Act, 2010 aimed at building a modern and time-fitting border force. Massive reformative and developmental projects were taken to make it a modern force, she said.

Now the BGB is more dynamic after decentralization of the command level through setting up of four regional headquarters, the prime minister said.

Sheikh Hasina said the Border Security Bureau has been established to strengthen the intelligence of the BGB. Four new sectors and four regional intelligence bureaus were set up. First phase work on constructing 15 battalions was completed.

Sheikh Hasina said the manpower of BGB has been increased. Since 2009, a total of 24,234 manpower were recruited in the force in addition to giving promotion to 26,221 BGB members in different positions.

Sheikh Hasina said recruitment of female members in the BGB was an epoch making chapter in the history of women empowerment in the country. The BGB got first batch of 97 female soldiers in the 88th batch. They have joined their units after successful completion of their basic training.

The next batch drew 93 female soldiers and now they are in training in the BGB Training Centre. Process is going on to recruit more 100 female soldiers in the 90th batch, she said.

After the parade, the prime minister addressed a Darbar of BGB at Bir Uttam Fazlur Rahman Khandakar Auditorium.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)