‘Never break the chain of command’
Stressing the importance of following the chain of command, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel to perform their responsibilities with patriotism, honesty and discipline.
"I expect you to discharge your respective responsibilities with patriotism, honesty and discipline," she said.
The prime minister was addressing the celebration of BGB Day-2021 at its headquarters here as the chief guest, joining it virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
Hasina asked the BGB personnel to always keep in mind that discipline and chain of command are the most important for a disciplined force.
"Never break the chain of command, or else it'll harm you. Uphold the chain of command," the PM said.
On behalf of the prime minister, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan handed over the BGB Medal, President Border Guard Service Medal and BGB Medal- Service to eight members of BGB for their courageous and brilliant contribution in different activities of the force.
The prime minister hoped that BGB will move towards its desired goal as a modern border guard force as expected by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
"I expect that BGB will continue its progress as 'vigilant sentinels of the border' as a symbol of confidence of the people of Bangladesh," she said.
Hasina said Bangladesh is now a role model for socio-economic development in the world. "We've made a revolution in the fields of electricity, communications, IT and agriculture. We've become a developing country from an LDC," she said.
Mentioning that Bangladesh is implementing "Delta Plan 2100", she said her government is committed to building a hunger-poverty-free, developed and prosperous "Sonar Bangla" for the next generation as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu.
The PM said BGB's responsibility is to assist the administration in maintaining the domestic law and order alongside performing their duties on the border.
She said BGB's role in parliamentary elections, city corporation polls, and other local body elections, maintaining the law and order during different emerging situations and in nation-building works have been appreciated by all.
Recalling the contributions of the BGB (erstwhile EPR) to the Liberation War, Hasina said the Father of the Nation declared the independence of Bangladesh soon after Pakistani occupation forces unleashed genocide on March 25, 1971.
Subedar Major Shawkat Ali and three other members of erstwhile EPR had spread the message (the Declaration of the Independence) to the police stations and thanas throughout the country, she said, adding that the EPR major and member had earlier been waiting with wireless sets for the message as per the directive of the Father of the Nation.
She said then the message was sent from the police stations to the leaders of Sangram Parishads formed earlier across the country as per the directive of Bangabandhu. Thus the message reached the grassroots throughout the country, she said.
"So, this force (EPR) had a special role in the Freedom Struggle, the Liberation War and the Declaration of Independence, which we always remember," said the prime minister.
Some 12,000 ERP members participated in the Liberation War and 817 members received martyrdom. EPR's member Birshrestha Shaheed Lance Nayek Noor Mohammad Sheikh and Birshrestha Shaheed Lance Nayek Munshi Abdur Rouf are the symbol of pride, she said.
Among other EPR members, eight members were adorned with the gallantry awards "Bir Uttam," while 32 with ''Bir Bikram" and 77 members with "Bir Pratik" for the outstanding contribution in the Liberation War, she mentioned.
The prime minister said they have adopted "Border Guard Bangladesh Vision 2041" to transform this force into a modern one, saying that plans have already been taken to increase its members to 92,000 by 2041.
She said BGB has been transformed into "three-dimensional forces" through the introduction of an air wing with the induction of two modern Mi-171E helicopters following the expansion of its activities more than ever before. "The BGB is now capable of carrying out its duties on water, land and air," said Hasina.
She said her government ensured women's participation in the BGB and 818 female soldiers were recruited in the force since 2015.
Hasina said work is underway to create 242 new BOPs and relocate 126 BOPs near the border. Despite various limitations, the success of BGB in protecting the border and preventing smuggling and the trafficking of women and children is commendable. In the last year, the BGB seized drugs worth Tk 850 crore and smuggled goods worth Tk 600 crore, she said.
She said they have constructed 113 infrastructures, including new quarters for new members, bungalows, soldier's barracks, modern BoPs, office buildings, water reservoirs and water treatment plants.
At the function, the government virtually opened the newly constructed 'Simanto Sammillon Kendra' (Border Conference Centre) at its Headquarters.
A smartly turned out contingent of BGB gave the salute to the prime minister throughout a spectacular parade.