Stop smuggling, trespassing, human trafficking: PM to BGB
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged the members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) to stop trespassing, smuggling of drugs and other goods, and human trafficking by performing their duties properly.
“Stopping any sort of smuggling, smuggling of drugs, trafficking of children and women and illegal intrusion is among the core duties of BGB. We want you to perform the duties properly,” she said while addressing the parade of BGB Day 2019 at its headquarters in the city.
Sheikh Hasina asked BGB members to follow the command of superior authority and maintain peace and discipline.
“Perform the duty bestowed upon you with honesty and integrity following the rules and being imbued with patriotism so that the country’s ongoing economic progress can continue,” she said.
The Prime Minister appreciated the BGB, saying the force stands by people during any crisis like natural disasters and even recent Rohingya crisis alongside protecting the Bangladesh border.
Spelling out measures taken by her government to modernise the BGB, the PM said, “We’ve adopted Border Guard Bangladesh Vision 2041.”
She said the government started the construction work of 317-kilometre borderline ring road in three hilly districts – Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban—for intensifying security on the border and improving the socio-economic condition of the people living in the remote areas.
Sheikh Hasina said some 442 km out of the country’s 539-km unprotected border with India and Myanmar has already been brought under surveillance through the creation new battalions. The rest will also come under watch when the construction work of the borderline road is completed, she said.
The PM said the government is providing two helicopters to the BGB, which will be commissioned in January next year.
She said the government has taken plan to install smart digital surveillance and tactical response system in 328-kilometre border on priority basis.
Sheikh Hasina said latest and effective anti-tank warfare, 12 armoured personnel carriers and 10 riot control vehicles are being purchased for the BGB.
She said vehicle x-ray scanner machines were installed in sensitive points of the border to scan goods-laden vehicles effectively in a very short time. Besides, process is on to procure six mechanised inspection systems to strengthen the inspection activities in the border.
The Prime Minister recalled with respect the BGB members who lost lives in the 2009 mutiny. After the BDR mutiny, her government modernised the force renaming the then BDR to BGB and reshuffling it, she said.
“Though this border guard was renamed again and again, the role of BGB is enormous in protecting the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh, particularly our border,” she said.
Noting that the force had a great contribution to the Liberation War, Sheikh Hasina said erstwhile East Pakistan Rifles (EPR) spread the declaration of independence made by the Father of the Nation throughout Bangladesh through wireless from Pilkhana.
She recalled with respect the then EPR members, including Subedar Major Shawkat Ali, who sacrificed their lives by spreading the declaration of the Father of the Nation.
The PM mentioned that some 12,000 Bangali members of the then EPR actively participated in the Liberation War. Among them, two members were adorned with the highest gallantry awards ‘Bir Sreshtha’, eight with ‘Bir Uttam’, 32 with ‘Bir Bikram’ and 77 with ‘Bir Pratik’.
She remembered with reverence the great sacrifice of 817 members of this force, who embraced martyrdom in the Liberation War.
Mentioning that the BGB had overcome many obstacles during its long journey, Sheikh Hasina said she believes that this BGB will be able to earn the dignity as the best border force in the world one day.
On her arrival at Pilkhana BGB headquarters, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and BGB Director General Major General Md Shafeenul Islam welcomed her.
A smartly turned out contingent of BGB gave salute to the Prime Minister through a spectacular parade. The Prime Minister, along with BGB Director General Major General Md Shafeenul Islam and Parade Commander Colonel AMM Khairul Kabir, inspected the parade riding on a decorated open jeep.
The PM handed over BGB Medal, President Border Guard Medal and BGB Medal-Service to a number of BGB members for their courageous and brilliant contribution in different activities of the force.
Later, the Prime Minister joined a special discussion (Darbar) of BGB.