The Ansar and Village Defence Party (VDP) will celebrate its 76th founding anniversary today.
The force was formed as the “East Pakistan Ansars” in line with the East Pakistan Ansars Act of 1948, and officially launched on February 12, 1948.
Marking the day, the auxiliary force will hold its 44th national assembly today amid daylong festivity.
On the eve of the day, President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday greeted the members of Ansar and Village Defence Party (VDP).
In separate messages, they wished success of all programs marking the national assembly and continuous progress of the force.
In his message, President Mohammed Shahabuddin described the Ansar and VDP as the country’s largest disciplined forces.
Since its establishment in 1948, Ansar and VDP has played important roles during country’s needs, in-cluding the great Language Movement and the Liberation War, the head of the state said.
He paid his deepest respect to the heroic Ansar members who sacrificed their lives for the protection of law and order at different times, including the Great War of Liberation.
Shahabuddin said the members of this force are diligently performing their duties in providing security in various important public and private establishments and projects alongside performing duties with the traffic police in resolving traffic congestion.
Besides, the members of this force performed their duties bravely in dealing with various natural and man-made disasters, he added.
The President hoped that all the members of Bangladesh Ansar and VDP will devote themselves to the development, progress and public-safety of the country for building ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
In her message, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the Ansar has a glorious role in the history of the country’s Liberation War and Language Movement.
This force plunged into the Liberation War in 1971 in response to the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, she said.
At the beginning of the Liberation War, she said, the main weapon of the first resistance of the Great War of Liberation was the 40,000 rifles of the Ansar forces.
On April 17, 1971, at Mujibnagar, Meherpur, the first government of Bangladesh (provincial govern-ment) was awarded the Guard of Honor by 12 fearless members of the Ansar, she said.
The premier paid deepest respects to all the martyrs, including Language martyr and Ansar Commander Abdul Jabbar and 670 heroic Ansar members who sacrificed their lives in the great war of liberation.
She said the Awami League-led government has taken various steps to modernize this force and increase its capacity such as introduction of new uniforms for the members of the force, provision of family ra-tions, increase in the amount of the ration-items of general Ansar, introduction of state medals in recog-nition of bravery and service and creation of new posts in different grades for officers.
Steps have been taken to modernize all areas, including the infrastructures of the force and as a part of this, construction of buildings with modern facilities is already underway at range, district and upazila levels, she continued.
During national and local elections, various religious festivals and any need of national importance, the members of this force are selfless and always active, she said.
The bravery of the force members is truly commendable as they discharged their duties with utmost sin-cerity ignoring the risk of death at the beginning of the global coronavirus pandemic, she added.
Their roles in raising public awareness activities, distribution of masks and leaflets, collection of farmers’ crops during labor crisis, distribution of relief and assistance to taking patients to the hospital and en-couraging them to take the COVID-19 vaccine, cooperation in the registration process and in carrying out duties in the COVID-19 specialized hospital are truly laudable, she added.
The premier hoped that each and every member of Ansar and Village Defence Party (VDP) will be in-spired by the spirit of patriotism and the great Liberation War by keeping the reputation, tradition and dignity of the forces intact.
She believed that they will play a leading role in maintaining the peace and order of the country ensur-ing the overall socio-economic development for building ‘Sonar Bangladesh’ and smart Bangladesh as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.