Stay alert against drugs, militancy, terrorism: PM to Ansar, VDP

Gazipur, Feb 12 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday asked all concerned, including the Ansar and VDP members, to always remain vigilant against drug abuse, militancy and terrorism in the country.

“We must remain alert in resisting 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 in Shafipur, Gazipur.

The Prime Minister said the battalion Ansar members and its embodied members have been sincerely working to maintain the law and order and ensure public security during different national, social and religious festivals in the country every year.

Referring to the role of Ansar and VDP members in the December-30 elections, Sheikh Hasina thanked them for performing their duties competently during the polls.

“In the 11th parliamentary election, some five lakh Ansar and VDP members performed their duties competently risking their lives for providing security to voters in 40,183 polling stations and presented a fair election to the people of Bangladesh,” she said.

Mentioning that five Ansar members sacrificed their lives performing the election duty, she prayed for salvation of the departed souls and expressed her deep sympathy to the bereaved family members.

At the rally, the five Ansar members were given ‘Moronuttar Shahoshikata Padak’ (Posthumous Gallantry Medals).

The Ansar members had played an important role in resisting the arson violence unleashed by BNP-Jamaat in 2014 and 2015, particularly in providing security to railways, she said adding that the government had been able to provide security to public life and property due to their sincere role.

The Prime Minister said the Ansar members have been demonstrating their competence and successes during any national crisis and emergency period.

Alongside taking different social safety net programmes to alleviate poverty from the country’s rural areas, Hasina said her government had initiated the ‘One House One Firm’ project so that each fallow land comes under cultivation and the rural people attain their financial solvency by selling products through a cooperative system.

“I’ve named ‘One House One Firm’ project as ‘My House My Firm’ project,” she said.

In this regard, the Prime Minister 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 (the project),” she added.

She said Ansar and VDP members can also attain their financial solvency working in the project.

Hasina said her government has been implementing various projects for the development of Ansar and VDP coming in power in 2009. “Our Awami League government is always sincere and sympathized in solving your any problem.” She added.

Hasina said the Ansar and VDP members have been contributing to the economic development of the country by maintaining the public security, peace and order.

She said the government has relentlessly been working to accomplish the goal of ensuring peace and security of people as well as improving their socio-economic status.

Mentioning that Bangladesh is now recognised a developing country, she asked all to work sincerely for keeping up the achievement and developing the country further.

Later, the Prime Minister enjoyed the cultural soiree displayed by Bangladesh Anasar and VDP members.

Terming the cultural programme as ‘excellent’ event, Hasina said that she enjoyed it very much.

Pointing at two children who were dancing on a boat in the cultural programme, the Prime Minister said the boat always reminds her about her childhood 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 go on retirement. This is my decision,” she said.

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.

She inspected a parade of Ansar and VDP riding an open jeep and received salute.

The Prime Minister handed over 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 present.