Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government would not compromise with the perpetrators of the recent criminal and militant activities saying human race cannot concede defeat with devils.
"We will resist the devils and Inshalla will be able to restore peace again in the society," she said adding that there will be no place for militants and criminals in Bangladesh.
The prime minister was addressing at the 35th National Rally of Bangladesh Ansar and Village Defence Party (VDP) at Yead Ali Parade Ground at Ansar-VDP Academy at Shafipur here today.
On the occasion an attractive parade of different contingents of Ansar-VDP was arranged the by parade commander Fakhrul Islam. The prime minister inspected the parade and took salute.
Director General of Ansar and VDP Major General Md Nazim Uddin, PM' Advisor Maj General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddiqui, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, chief of three services and senior civil and military officials were present.
The prime minister handed over medals and cheques to 97 members of Ansar and VDP for their bravery and excellence in the service.
The prime minister said the evil force has started killing people again in the same style they indulged before the January 5, 2014 election. In the name of politics they are blazing buses and trucks and burning people alive.
As many as 100 people were victims of their cruelty, injuring several hundreds. The air of the Burn Unit of Dhaka Medical College is filled with the wails of the people injured in petrol bomb attacks.
Sheikh Hasina said all victims of petrol bomb attacks are innocent people. They are bus and truck drivers and marginal people who live on their daily earning. There is no value of the lives of toiling masses to Khaleda Zia.
She said it is the sacred responsibility of the government to protect the lives and properties of the people. So the government has deployed Ansar Bahini along with police, Rab and BGB to curb subversive activities in highways and railways.
She praised the role of Ansar in protecting the properties of the Bangladesh Railway before the last year general elections when the country was reeling on unprecedented sabotage of BNP and Jamaat cohorts.
The scale of destruction of properties declined remarkably after the deployment of the Ansar to protect Bangladesh Railway, she said adding that they have showed the highest level of patriotism and courage.
Sheikh Hasina said, so far 8,328 ansars were deployed at 1,041 points of the Bangladesh Railway. "Twelve ansar members in each of 993 points on highways are also being deployed," she added.
The prime minister said BNP and Jamaat started their vandalism when Bangladesh is on the road of a vibrant economic growth and the living condition of the people is improving.
She said opportunities of Bangladesh's manpower market are opening up abroad. After seven years Saudi Arabia has started recruiting workers from Bangladesh at a very low cost. Bangladeshi workers are also going to Malaysia.
Sheikh Hasina said the country's poverty rate declined to 24 % and a per capita income increase of around US$ 1190 with 6.2 % annual growth rate. Price of essentials remained stable and inflation dropped down to 1.59 percent from double digit. The government has taken a project to provide electricity to every house.
She said her government is striving for changing the lots of toiling masses. BNP-Jamaat started anarchy and snatching their food from their mouths when the country is moving ahead.
The prime minister said, BNP-Jamaat claimed them as Islamists. But they called hartal even on the birthday of the Prophet (SM) and on the days of Biswa Ijtema. They pushed the lives of 1.5 million SSC students to danger and created uncertainty for millions of students. "They want to push the country towards darkness," she said.
Congratulating the members of Ansar and VDP marking their national conference the prime minister said every member of the force has played an important role in different stages of the Bengali’s struggle for freedom.
Responding to the call of the Father of the Nation, she said many Ansar members joined the War of Liberation in 1971. A total of 670 members of this force embraced martyrdom in the War of Liberation, she said adding that the force distributed their 40,000 arms among the freedom fighters.
A 12-member team of Ansar presented Guard of Honour to the exile government of Bangladesh at Meherpur on April 17, 1971, she recalled.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu had taken initiative for strengthening the force after liberation. In the course of time Bangladesh Ansar and VDP has turned into a disciplined force.
The prime minister said members of Ansar and VDP are working in aid of BGB, RAB, police and other forces in marinating the law and order in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and combating terrorism in the south-western part of the country.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has taken steps for enhancing various infrastructural facilities of Ansar to operate the training activities of the disciplined force. She hoped that training programmes of this force would be easier to operate if the ongoing works are completed.
The prime minister said the sacred duty of Ansar is to safeguard public life and property from their respective position. "The force will continue to discharge the duty with utmost honesty, integrity, sincerity and courage," she expected.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is working for building a hunger and poverty free, illiteracy free, technology-based mid-income country by 2021. "No barrier would be able to stop us, Insha Allah," she said.
She said that the Awami League government after coming to office in 1996 decorated the Ansar Bahini with national flag. Service of the battalion Ansars were made permanent earlier on completion of their 15-year job period.
Now this timeframe has been reduced gradually to 12 and 9 years, she said adding that the government is considering for reducing the time further.
She said risk allowance at a rate of 30 percent of gross salary is being given to the Ansar members, while Tk 5 lakh is being provided to each Anasar-VDP member as financial grant for death on duty and Tk 2 lakh for critical injury. "Ansar members were given time scale, two annual increments and raising ration allowance to Tk 80 from Tk 50," she said.
Referring to the formation of new Ansar battalion in February last year, Sheikh Hasina said that the rank and badge of the PC/APC members have been made similar keeping consistency with other forces. "All members of Ansar battalion were given modern arms," she said.
The prime minister said earlier there was no provision for providing dearness allowance to those who were temporary, but her government has taken steps to provide dearness allowance to all of the Battalion Ansars, Special Ansars, hill Ansars and Embodiment Ansars.
She said jobs of 672 female Ansars were made permanent and all Ansars were provided with health insurance for which Tk 10 lakh would be given upon their death. "Establishment of the Ansar & VDP Bank is an epoch making steps towards ensuring their welfare," she said.
The premier said Ansar & VDP force is playing an important role in women empowerment as about half of these 60 lakh members are female.