Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked all including the Ansar and VDP members to stay alert against drug abuse, militancy and terrorism in the country.
“We must remain vigilant at all times to resist drug abuse, militancy and terrorism,” she said while addressing the 39th National Rally of Bangladesh Ansar and Village Defence Party (VDP) at Ansar-VDP Academy at Shafipur in Gazipur yesterday.The premier said the Ansar battalions have sincerely been working to maintain law and order and ensure public security during national, social and religious festivals in the country every year.
With reference to the role of Ansar and VDP members during the December-30 elections, Sheikh Hasina thanked them for performing their duties properly.
“In the just-concluded parliamentary polls, some five lakh Ansar and VDP members observed their duties competently risking their lives. They provided security for voters and presented a fair election to the countrymen,”
The Prime Minister mentioned the name of five Ansar members that sacrificed their lives performing the election duty. She prayed for the salvation of their departed souls and expressed deep sympathy to the bereaved family members.
At the rally, the five Ansar members were awarded Posthumous Gallantry Medals.
Sheikh Hasina recalled the role Ansar members played in resisting the arson attack unleashed by the BNP-Jamaat alliance in 2014 and 2015 and in providing security to railways.She added that the government had been able to provide security to public life and property due to their sincere role.
The Ansar members have long been demonstrating their competence during any national crisis and emergency.
Alongside various social safety net programmes to bring down poverty in the country’s rural areas, Hasina said her government had taken up “One House One Firm” project so each fallow land comes under cultivation while the rural people will attain their financial solvency through cooperative system.
She said she has already directed the authorities concerned to engage Ansar and VDP members in the project.
“Since you (Ansar and VDP members) have received training, you can play a greater role in this regard.”
Sheikh Hasina said Ansar and VDP members can also attain their financial solvency working on the project.
She said her government has been implementing various projects for the development of Ansar and VDP since 2009.
“Our Awami League government is always sincere and sympathetic towards solving your problem.” She added.
Hasina mentioned how Ansar and VDP members have been contributing to the economic development of the country by maintaining public security, peace and order.
She emphasized that her government has continuously been working to ensure peace and security of people as well as improving their socio-economic life.
Saying that Bangladesh is now recognised a developing country, she asked all to work sincerely for keeping up the achievement.
Later, the premier enjoyed the cultural function displayed by Bangladesh Anasar and VDP members.
Terming the cultural programme ‘excellent’, she said she enjoyed it very much.
Pointing at two children who performed dance on a boat in the cultural programme, the Prime Minister said the boat always reminds her of her childhood that was passed in her ancestral village as her grandfather had such a big boat.
Hasina said she wants to pass her retired life at Tungipara village in Gopalganj.
“I’ll go back to my own village when I will go on retirement. This is my decision.” On her arrival at the rally venue, the Prime Minister was welcomed by Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Public Security Division Secretary Mostafa Kamal Uddin, Director General of Bangladesh Ansar and VDP Major General Kazi Sharif Kaikobad.
The premier inspected a parade of Ansar and VDP riding an open jeep and received salute.
Sheikh Hasina handed special medals to 153 Ansar and VDP members for their bravery and praiseworthy services.
She gave Bangladesh Ansar Medals to 10 Ansar members, while President’s Ansar Medals to 20, Bangladesh VDP Medals to nine, President VDP Medals to six members, Bangladesh Ansar Services Medals to 20, President’s Ansar Services Medals to 40, Bangladesh VDP Services Medals to 16 and President’s VDP Services Medals to 32 members.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq and Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah were, among others, present on the occasion.