Militancy, terrorism to be resisted at any cost
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the soil of Bangladesh would never be allowed to serve as a playground of militancy and terrorism which she claimed occurred rampantly during the last BNP-Jamaat rule.
She directed all the law enforcement agencies, including Bangladesh Ansar and VDP, and urged the people to stay alert so that the anti-democratic, communal forces and BNP-Jamaat-Shibir and their cohorts could no longer destabilise the country.
Addressing the 34th National Rally of Ansar and Village Defence Party (VDP) at the Ansar Academy in Shafipur, Gazipur, the prime minister asked the security force to discharge their duty with courage, professional skill, neutrality, and accountability.
“While performing your duties, please be decent to people and compassionate to the hapless section of society, especially women, children and the elderly.”
Hasina hoped that the Ansar-VDP members would work more devotedly for the welfare of the country. “Let's all work to place our motherland in the world arena in a more dignified position,” she said. Hasina expressed her resolve to turn Bangladesh into a hunger and poverty-free, technology-based, and middle-income country by 2021.
Riding an open-roof jeep, the prime minister inspected the parade of Ansar -VDP members and took their salute.
Later, she handed over Bangladesh Ansar Medals to five Ansar members (one of them posthumously); President's Ansar Medals to seven, Bangladesh VDP Medals to one, President's VDP Medals to four, Bangladesh Ansar Services Medals to five, Bangladesh Ansar Services Medals to nine (posthumously), and President's Ansar Services Medals to 49 Ansar members.
The prime minister praised the role of the Ansar -VDP men in fighting the destructive acts by the Jamaat-e-Islami, Islami Chhatra Shibir and BNP, and said two Ansar men were killed and three others injured while trying to save trains and rail tracks.
Sheikh Hasina thanked the Ansar force for its responsible role in the January 5 election and said one of its members was killed that time.
Recalling the role of Ansar-VDP since its inception 76 years ago, she said the organisation joined the Liberation War responding to the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Hasina described various steps taken by the Awami League governments for the welfare of Ansar-VDP. “During our 1996 government, I gave you the national flag and regularised the job of Ansar members after they had completed 15 years.”
She said the service period for regularisation of jobs now came down to nine years from 15. A total of 13,097 Ansar men have enrolled as permanent members, she said.
The prime minister said there was no provision of providing dearness allowances to the Ansar members. “But such allowance is now provided to all Ansar members.”
Besides, the PM added, 30 percent of the gross salary was being given to Ansar personnel as risk allowance, while Tk 5 lakh was being provided to each Anasar-VDP member as financial grant for death on duty and Tk 1 lakh for critical injury.
Later, the premier addressed the officers of the force at the Officers' Mess and enjoyed a colourful cultural event presented by the Ansar-VDP members. She also inaugurated an Officers' Mess, a multipurpose training shade, and a swimming pool at the academy.