Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Process on to modernise BDR, raise its strength

BDR chief says at Rajshahi flag awarding ceremony
Director General of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed yesterday said initiatives are underway to modernise the paramilitary force and increase its strength within a short time.

A 'quick reaction force' is being raised in every BDR sector to face emergencies while each battalion will be equipped with an anti-tank platoon, he said. Armored Personal Carriers (a kind of vehicle) were already sent to some sectors to raise the special force, he said.

Maj Gen Shakil was addressing 10 BDR Battalion's prestigious colour-flag awarding ceremony at Rajshahi BDR compound.

The BDR chief also called upon the troops to dedicate themselves for the cause of the country with utmost honesty.

He lauded the success of BDR-run 'Dal-Bhat Operation' and 'Fair Price Shops' in controlling prices of essentials.

"You have done this beyond your duty of patrolling borders amid limitations including shortage of vehicles and other engagements in domestic affairs", he said.

Among others, Brig Gen Mahfuzur Rahman, Commander of Armored Brigade in Bogra; Brig Gen Nazmul Islam, Commandant, Bangladesh Infantry Regimental Center; Rajshahi Sector Commander Col M Iqbal; Battalion Commander Lt Col Lutful Kabir; Rajshahi Divisional Commissioner M Shafiul Alam; DIG Mokhlesur Rahman; vice- chancellors of Rajshahi University and Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology also attended the ceremony.

Maj Shams, second-in-command of 10 BDR Battalion led a colourful parade during the ceremony.

10 BDR Battalion was awarded the colour-flag for its outstanding performance both before and after the Liberation War, said BDR a spokesman.

The battalion set a record in BDR's history by becoming champion for the third consecutive term in 2006 since 2004 in checking smuggling.

The 49-year old BDR battalion was honoured for its role during natural calamities in 1968 and 1970 in southern region of the country, during the Liberation War (six national heroes -- three Bir Uttam, two Bir Bikrom and one Bir Protik were chosen from the batallion), and for anti-terrorism role in Chittagong Hill Tracts and service to Sidr victims and operation Dal-Bhat, he said.

The newly raised battalion No. 46 at Bahubolpur in Patnitala of Naogaon was also inaugurated at the ceremony.

With this, Rajshahi BDR sector that patrols 342 kilometer border with India consists of four battalions -- two in Naogaon, and one each in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj.

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