May 22, 2024

BSS, DHAKA: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the RAB to further strengthen their drives against food hoarding and the circulation of counterfeit currencies ahead of Ramadan and Eid, along with taking tougher legal action against militancy, terrorism, drug abuse, and teenagers’ gang culture. “Some of our unscrupulous traders keep hoarding the commodities, which we require the most during the month of Ramadan, and exercise other unethical tactics to increase their prices (to make more profit). You have to take appropriate measures against them,” she said.

The Prime Minister said they even become more profit-mongers, forgetting that Ramadan is a month of self-constraint from doing all bad things.

She was addressing a function as the chief guest, marking the 20th founding anniversary of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) at its headquarters here.

Mentioning that the circulation of fake currencies usually increases ahead of Eid, she said, surveillance has to be enhanced further ahead of Eid to this end.”

” RAB personnel have to continue the drives against counterfeit currencies,” she said.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan spoke at the function, while Director General (DG) of the RAB M Khurshid Hossain gave the welcome address.

PM’s Security Adviser, Major General (rtd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique and Public Security Division Senior Secretary Md. Mustafizur Rahman, were present on the dias.

A video documentary on the activities of the RAB was also screened.

On her arrival at the venue, the Prime Minister was given a guard of honour.

Sheikh Hasina has highly praised RAB for their contribution to checking militancy, terrorism, and drug abuse and for their success in stamping out extremism from the southwestern part of the country and piracy from the Sundarbans.

“You (RAB) have to work more appropriately to this end,” she said.

She said the Holy Artisan Attack, one of the big incidents of militancy in Bangladesh, was brought under control within a few hours.

No such big scale incident of militancy occurred in Bangladesh due to the effective measures of the RAB, police, and intelligence agencies, she said, adding that the RAB has been playing a great role in this regard.

The Prime Minister asked the RAB personnel to be more cautious to protect the rights of the people.

“You have to work to protect the rights of others,” she said.

The Premier stressed the need for more intensified steps to check the spread of illegal drugs by taking tougher legal action against the drug dealers and stooping drug transporation into the country by blocking their entry points.

“You have to take appropriate measures against the drug dealers,” she said.
She asked the RAB personnel to stop teenagers’ gang culture and any sorts of repression against women.

The Premier said the RAB not only detains people, who are involved in criminal activities, but also takes measures such as “Udayer Pathe” to bring them into normal life.

She continued that many pirates of the Sundarbans and extremists have returned to normal life after surrendering their arms at the initiative of RAB.

To this end, she said, 314 extremists with over 200 arms and a huge quantity of ammunition surrendered at different districts on May 11, 2023, under the supervision of the RAB.

The Prime Minister said her government has taken measures to rehabilitate surrendered pirates by providing financial support and arranging livelihoods for them so that they can go back to their normal lives.

In such ways, RAB has immensely contributed to maintaining peace in the country, which is the prerequisite for ensuring the overall socio-economic advancement of a country, she said.

About issuing sanctions on some personnel of RAB, she said there is nothing to be worried about.

She questioned why the sanction was imposed on a force that has been working to contain militancy and terrorism.

The Premier said if anyone in the force is found guilty, he or she will be punished.

“We can’t tolerate any sanction being imposed against us as a country. If required, we can also impose sanctions,” she said.

The Prime Minister said her government has been upgrading each of the forces, including RAB, with modern and smart state-of-the-art technology.

“We are doing it to ensure the socio-economic development of Bangladesh and security for the countrymen,” she said.

Briefly describing her government’s various measures for ensuring the overall development of the country, she said Bangladesh had changed in the last 15 years with massive development.

“Bangladesh is now considered as the model of development on the global stage,” she said.

The Prime Minister vowed to build a developed, prosperous, and smart Sonar Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty by 2041.

“We have to work collectively to this end,” she said.

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