Dhaka, Wednesday   20 March 2019

PM Hasina praises border guards for dedication to work

 Senior Correspondent Daily-Bangladesh

 Published: 08:43 PM, 20 December 2017   Updated: 09:39 PM, 3 January 2018

The Border Guard Bangladesh or BGB must continue to strive for the welfare of the nation alongside maintaining law and order within the force, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said.

The Border Guard Bangladesh or BGB must continue to strive for the welfare of the nation alongside maintaining law and order within the force, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said.

The Border Guard Bangladesh or BGB must continue to strive for the welfare of the nation alongside maintaining law and order within the force, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said.

“I am happy to see a new environment prevailing in the BGB,” Hasina said at a programme marking BGB Day at the agency’s headquarters in Peelkhana on Wednesday.

Hasina’s comments will boost the morale of the BGB shaken by a mutiny that killed 78 people, including 57 army officers, in 2009 soon after her party returned to power.

The agency, previously known as Bangladesh Rifles, reorganised itself with a new flag and uniform following the incident.

Last month, the High Court upheld death sentences for 139 in the case, sentenced 185 to life in prison and handed jail terms ranging up to 10 years to 228.

Alluding to the mutiny, Hasina said: “This uncalled-for incident happened only 49 days into the formation of our government. A total of 57 army officers died that day. I remember them with honour.”

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and BGB Director General Maj Gen Abul Hossain received the prime minister on Wednesday morning.

The ruling Awami League chief witnessed the parade of BGB personnel. “Your obedience and loyalty are beyond doubt. I believe trust, respect, discipline and empathy will strengthen your bond within the team,” Hasina said.

She recalled how the East Pakistan Rifles or EPR, responding to the calls of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, developed strong resistance against the Pakistan occupation force in the first phase of the liberation war in 1971.

The Betar staffers of the EPR aired the announcement of independence during the first hours of Mar 26, 1971, said the premier.

More than 12,000 EPR soldiers took part in the liberation war, with 817 embracing martyrdom.

Nur Mohammad Sheikh and Munshi Abdur Rouf, who served as lance nayeks, received the highest military award, Bir Shreshtha, for bravery in the liberation war.

The eight EPR officers awarded with Bir Uttam, 32 with Bir Bikram and 77 with Bir Pratik have added glory to the history of the force, Hasina said.

The BGB tackles not only the natural disasters but also manmade tragedies, she said.

“The BGB played a special role in protecting people and property when vehicles were set afire, railway tracks were ravaged, murders and arsons were being carried out,” Hasina said referring to the blockade by the BNP-Jamaat alliance on the first anniversary of the 10th parliamentary election in 2015.

She highlighted BGB’s role during elections and implementation of the Land Boundary Act.

“They helped the residents of the enclaves. BGB is the force that takes a firm stance whenever situation turns volatile on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border or in the hill areas.”

Hasina honoured nine BGB members with Border Guard Bangladesh Award, 18 with President Border Guard Award, nine with Border Guard Bangladesh Sheba Award and 15 with President Border Guard Sheba Award.

The prime minister highlighted different measures taken by her government for capacity building and rehabilitation of the BGB soldiers.