CA asks BDR to plan for creating poll atmosphere
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday asked the BDR (Bangladesh Rifles) members to get ready and work out a detailed work plan to create an appropriate election atmosphere in the country through maintaining law and order and curbing militant and terrorist activities.
"Many godfathers of terrorists in border areas are getting active to operate their networks and activities. When the state of emergency will be relaxed and the elections will get closer there remains an apprehension that they will increase their destructive activities," he said.
The head of the caretaker government urged the BDR members to be active further and remain vigilant in the border areas, keeping in mind the situation.
He was addressing a darbar at the BDR headquarters in the city on the occasion of BDR Week 2008.
The CA said his government is working to hold a free, fair, neutral and acceptable election by December this year, if possible even before that timeline.
"So all-out efforts are on for creating an appropriate election atmosphere through maintaining stability, peace, discipline and security in the society, and curbing militant and terrorist acts," he told the function, adding that Bangladesh Rifles has a very important role in this regard.
Director General of BDR Maj Gen Sakil Ahmed also spoke on the occasion. On his arrival at the venue, Home Affairs Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin and BDR DG received the chief adviser.
The BDR sector commander, its rank and file, and high civil and military officials were present at the function.
The CA distributed BDR Padak to two BDR members and President Rifles Padak to four BDR officers and members for their heroic performance in various operations, including anti-smuggling drives, in 2007.
The BDR Padak recipients are Nayek Subeder M Ayubur Rahman and Nayek Subedar Mohammad Ali. Lt Col M Abdur Razzak, Maj M Ekramul Huq Khan, Capt M Abdul Khaleque and Sepoy M Abdul Mannan got the President Rifles Padak.
The BDR Padka carries a medal and Tk 50,000, while the President Rifles Padak a medal and Tk 25,000.
The CA said the BDR personnel should always remain ready to face any emergency situation along the international border.
He said phensidyl and other harmful narcotics coming from across the border are destroying the lives of a large number of youths of the country, and drug addiction remains to be a major reason behind snatching, mugging, stealing, robbery and other crimes.
"Serious crimes like trafficking in women and children, smuggling of arms and explosive materials into the country are disrupting security and peace in the country," he said.
The CA, however, said BDR has been playing a courageous role in curbing crimes and maintaining law and order situation in the country.
Referring to various laudable performances of the BDR members, Fakhruddin said the organisational structure of the force has already been extended to infuse dynamism into its operational activities.
He said approval has been given to a proposal for creation of a new Rifles battalion at Patnitala under Rajshahi sector while that for creation of nine more battalions in Khagrachhari and Khulana sectors and unprotected border areas in the Chittagong Hill Tracts is under active consideration of the government.
Besides, the matter of creation of a fire support company at each sector headquarters is also under active consideration of the government, he said, adding that such expansion and addition will make Bangladesh Rifles stronger, creating opportunities for promotion. "It'll also develop the mental strength of the paramilitary troops,"
He said risk allowance for BDR officers and soldiers and increase in family ration of the troops from 60 percent to 100 percent are also under active consideration of the government.
The informed the BDR officials and soldiers that the UN has shown interest to deploy "two-formed" police unit of BDR in peacekeeping mission in Sudan and seven APCs have already been purchased from abroad as part of necessary preparation in this regard.
Mentioning the achievements and contributions of BDR, he said they seized illegal goods worth over Tk 267 crore in 2007 and extended direct cooperation to the Customs Department in realising over Tk 25 crore in customs duty for domestic animal import.
The CA urged the BDR officers and members to be more inspired and ever vigilant in performing their assigned duties to safeguard the country's independence, sovereignty and borders and maintaining internal peace and discipline through honesty, sincerely and efficiency.
Later, the CA had a meeting with the sector commanders of Bangladesh Rifles at its headquarters.