|PM sheikh Hasina addressing a ‘Darbar’ at Kurmitola RAB Forces Headquarters marking the 13th founding anniversary of the elite force.
Urging the RAB members to obey the rules of the law, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said they should efficiently discharge duties with utmost responsibility, professionalism, patriotism and honesty keeping in mind that they are members of a disciplinary force.
“Moral turpitude may weaken the mentality of any force. You should always remember that you are the servant of the people. So you have to remain careful so that people are not harassed by your actions in anyway,” she said while addressing a ‘Darbar’ at Kurmitola RAB Forces Headquarters marking the 13th founding anniversary of the elite force.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal attended the function as the special guest and director general (DG) of RAB Benazir Ahmed spoke, among others, on the occasion. PM’s Security Advisor Major General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddiqui, Inspector General of Police M Shahidul Haq and senior civil and military officials attended the function.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an elite anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, was formed in 2004, comprising members of the Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh and Bangladesh Ansar.
Since then the force is performing its duties in maintaining law and order, combating terrorism and holding various national programmes peacefully in addition to drive against pirates in the Sundarbans mangrove forests and curbing human trafficking.
On her arrival at the RAB headquarters, the prime minister was given guard of honour by Rab Forces Honour Guard.
“Members of a force must maintain discipline and obey the order of the higher authorities,” the prime minister said, adding that “your salaries and other allowances are paid by the people. So, they should not be subjected to harassment in anyway.”
“Your main task is to ensure security of the public life and property,” Sheikh Hasina said hoping that the RAB members should be guided and discharging their duties as dictated by the laws, rules and principles.
Praising the role of RAB in combating militancy and terrorism, the prime minister said the soil of Bangladesh, which was liberated at the cost of blood of millions of martyrs, would not be allowed to be used for any militant or terror activities.
Like the past, the prime minister said, the RAB members would effectively play their role in future to make the public life and property safe and secured being imbued with the spirit of the War of Liberation.
Sheikh Hasina said the RAB has immense success in maintaining law and order. The force is playing a pioneering role in the drives against all kinds of crimes including recovering illegal arms, combating terrorism, militancy and different outlawed groups.
The prime minister said her government in the last eight years has taken extensive measures for development of the elite force. New battalions were created and their infrastructural development and benefits were increased manifolds. Since the 2015 fiscal year the budget of the force has almost been doubled.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has acquired land for RAB headquarters, training school and all battalions. The ECNEC has approved the infrastructure development project of RAB. Acquisition of modern equipments has been completed to enhance its capacity of identifying criminals, collecting finger print and telephone set tracking.
The prime minister said the government has allocated necessary budget to procure two helicopters for RAB to enhance its operational capacity. Now the RAB has acquired capacity of carrying out its operations on the ground, water and air, making it a three-dimensional force, she said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said law and order and peaceful situation are foremost prerequisites to take forward the country economically.
“Smooth law and order is important to build up confidence in people to dream of a prosperous future,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu put Bangladesh on the right track of development in post independence war ravaged Bangladesh launching a massive reconstruction campaign.
But, she said, after his brutal assassination the country virtually lost its desire to prosper and the course of its progress became stalled and the nation was lost from the track becoming a dignified nation in the world comity.
Sheikh Hasina said for 21 years Bangladesh was ruled by the military dictators and their legions in a very disgraceful manner.
The country regained its hope in 1996 when Awami League assumed power and moved on a planned economic and political programme to set the country on the road of development again.
“People of Bangladesh are now reaping the benefits of the good governance of the Awami League . . . with everybody’s support including the law enforcement agencies and government organizations’ the Awami League has made the country a role model of development in the last eight years,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina particularly appreciated the law enforcement agencies saying their performance helped Bangladesh to be on the track of development.
She said the security forces took a steadfast stance against terrorism and militancy which has posed a threat not only for Bangladesh but also for the whole world.
“Everybody including the law enforcement agencies, their intelligence units and armed forces are working very sincerely and with devotion against the militants and terrorists,” the premier said.
And in delivering their services, she said, many members of the law enforcing agencies embraced martyrdom, the prime minister noted.
Sheikh Hasina said she never considers the public expenditure for law enforcing agencies as a “spending but investment”.
“That is why our government is not reluctant to allocate necessary budget for their development,” the premier said.
Praising the recent operation of RAB at Atiya Mohal in Sylhet she said RAB has successfully cleared the building off explosives.
She also acclaimed RAB initiatives that saw surrender of a number of extremists and pirate groups in Sundarbans.
“Their surrender has made the mangrove forest safer than ever for tourists and people in the neighbourhood who are dependent on the forest for their livelihood,” Sheikh Hasina said.
Later the Prime Minister inaugurated the newly constructed building of the RAB-9.