Bangladesh ansar & village defence party

Jashim

Bangladesh Ansar & Village Defence Party is a very unique organization with equal opportunity for both Men and Women. We are the torchbearers of Peace, Discipline, Development & Security in every nook and cranny of our motherland. Ours is the only organization, which has representative in each and every village. The Force has the highest level of community interaction.

Statute has enabled this force as one of the law enforcing agencies working under the Ministry of Home Affairs in Bangladesh. Ansar officers are members of Law and Order Committees at Upazilla [Sub-District], District, Division and national levels. Ansar Bahini and Battalion Ansar are discipline forces as defined in Article: 152 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Ansar-VDP members are dedicated for maintaining law and order abreast and ensuring human security all over Bangladesh. The organization consists of the following three basic components:

2. Historical Background

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I would like to highlight the historical background of the term ‘Ansar’. It is an Arabic word which denotes ‘one who volunteers his/her service to people’. In the early days of Islam, our prophet (sm) had to migrate from Mecca to Medina being ill treated by the then people of ‘Kuraish Tribe’. The people of Medina who voluntarily came forward to rehabilitate him and his companions were known as ‘Ansars’.

After 2nd world war India was divided into India and Pakistan. The newly formed East Pakistan was burdened with deteriorated law & order situation and huge migrated people. Situation was going beyond control due to the poor law enforcing capacity. In this circumstance, the government of the then Pakistan had to think about community participation for maintaining law and order. They took the concept of ‘Ansar’ of Medina to raise a community based force (volunteer) for social reconstruction and maintaining law and order.

Ansar Bahini was raised on 12 February 1948, with Mr. James Buchanon (a British) as Director, to help improve the law and order situation at that time. From 1948 to 1972, Ansar was under the control of National Service Board (NSB) chaired by the Principal Secretary to the Government. In the very beginning of Liberation War many Ansar members actively participated with more than 40,000 rifles. In 1971 most of the members of this Bahini took part in the War of Liberation. It was the members of this Bahini that presented the historical guard of honour to the first government of Bangladesh during the War of Liberation. As a result Pakistani Rulers disbanded Ansar organization in 1971. A total of 9 officers and 661 Ansar members sacrificed their lives for our independence. Among them one was awarded the gallantry awards; “Bir Bikram” and the two were “Bir Protik”. After the Liberation War, Ansar was reactivated by the Government of Bangladesh and was brought under the control of Ministry of Home Affairs. In 1980, Ansar was declared as a separate cadre namely “Bangladesh Civil Service (Enforcement-Ansar)”. In the year 1998 Ansar-VDP was awarded National Standard by the Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The Bahini also earned Independence Award-2004. Through the ages the organization has taken off from voluntarism to professionalism.

3. Basic Components

The organization consists of three basic components run by three separate Acts passed in the parliament in 1995. They are:

a.         The Ansar Bahini (Commonly known as Sadharon Ansar or Embodied Ansar when employed) – Enacted by ‘Ansar Bahini Aain 1995’ ( Ansars Act 1995) [Ansars Act 1948 was thereby repealed]

b.         The Battalion Ansar – Enacted by ‘Battalion Ansar Aain 1995’ (Battalion Ansar Act)

c.         The Village Defence Party (VDP) – Enacted by VDP Act 1995

4.  Ansar Bahini and It’s Role

Ansar Bahini was raised on 12 February 1948 to help improve the law and order situation. It was disbanded by the then Pakistan govt in 1971, as its members took part in Liberation War of Bangladesh. This Bahini was re-organized in 1972. Now, it has its organization up to Union level.

5. Role/Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of Ansar Bahini (as contained in Ansar Bahini Act 1995, Act No. 3 of 1995) are –

·    To assist the government or any organization under the

government in matters/works related to public security.

·    To participate in any other work related to public security.

·     To participate in any work related to public welfare for socio-

economic development of the country.

·    To assist Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force, BGB, Police and Battalion

Ansar as and when directed by the

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6.  Battalion Ansar and It’s Role

Battalion Ansar was raised in the month of August in 1976 to augment the strength of the security forces.  At present, there are 36 Male and 02 Female Ansar Battalions deployed all over the country.

7.  Role/Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of Battalion Ansar (as contained in Battalion Ansar Act 1995, Act No. 4 of 1995) are:

  • To assist the government or any organization under the government in matters/works related to public security.
  • To participate in any work related to public welfare for

development of socio-economic condition of the country.

  • To participate in disaster management.
  • To participate in any other work as directed by the government.
  • To assist Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force, BGB and Police as

and when directed by the government.

8.  VDP and It’s Role

To improve law and order situation and the socio-economic condition of the rural people, VDP was raised on 5th January 1976. There is one Male and one Female Platoon in every village. There is one Male and one Female Union Leader in each Union. Total strength of VDP is about 5.6 million of which 50% are female. The urban version of VDP is called the Town Defence Party or TDP. There is one Male and one Female TDP Platoon in each ‘Ward’ of every Pouroshava/Metropolitan City. The VDP and TDP members are employed in socio-economic development, income generating activities and in various awareness programmes.

9. Role/Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of VDP (as contained in VDP Act 1995, Act No. 5 of 1995) are:

  1. To participate in work related to public welfare for development

of socio-economic condition of the country.

 

  1. To assist in matters/works related to maintenance of rural law and order situation and public security.

 

  1. To perform any other duty, from time to time, as

directed by the government.

10.   A Comparative View – Three Basic Components

It appears that the roles of the three components of Ansar-VDP are almost similar though there are significant differences. A comparative view of these three basic components is:

 

Sl Component Characteristics Main Focus
1 Ansar Bahini a. Main component of the organization.b. Based up to Union level. Works in maintaining law & order / Ensures Public Security
2 Battalion Ansar a. It is a regular force.b. Can be employed with an independent task / mission. Works in maintaining law and order, in Defence & Disaster management
3 VDP/TDP Totally a voluntary and community based organization. Socio-economic development and helps in maintaining rural law and order

   11. Organization

The number of various units of Ansar & VDP is stated bellow:

Organogram

The organization of Ansar & VDP can be best understood from its organogram in tree form as shown below:

13. Training Activities

Officers and members of Ansar & VDP undergo various types of training in different training institutions at home and abroad.  Battalion and Sadharon Ansars also participate in Summer and Winter Collective Training with the Army.

14. Officers Training

Soon after joining the service the officers undertake 12 months’ basic course along with a 15 month-long Higher Masters Degree in Human Security (a program run under academic affiliation of Dhaka University) at Ansar-VDP Academy which includes 2 weeks orientation programme in the Hill Tracts. Then they are posted to various field units for On Job Training. Subsequently on receipt of vacancies they undertake 16 weeks’ mandatory foundation training at Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre, at Savar, and 6 weeks orientation attachment with Army, which includes Army Headquarters, various army formations and Bangladesh Military Academy. In addition, the officers continue to attend various courses at home and abroad.

15. Training of Battalion Ansar

Training of Battalion Ansar is mainly held at Ansar & VDP Academy. After selection, recruits are trained for 6 months which includes basic drill, weapon training, field crafts, minor tactics, etc. Some other trainings attended by the Battalion Ansars are:

(1) Course/ Training at Ansar VDP Academy include:

  • Armourer
  • First Aid
  • Small Arms Instructor
  • Drill Instructor
  • Motor Transport Driving
  • Cooking, Mess Waiter, Fishery, Computer etc. @

(2) Course/ Training at Ansar VDP Academy and in Army Institutions include:

  • Machine Gun
  •  Mortar
  •  Small Arms and Drill Instructor
  •  Ammunition Maintenance
  •  Junior Leader Intelligence etc.

16. Training of Sadharon Ansar

Training of Sadharon Ansar is conducted in the districts and in the Academy. The training includes basic drill, handling of weapon and subjects related to their tasks. The duration of training is 42 days (07 wks) for both Male and Female Ansars.

17. Training of VDP

VDP training is conducted in Range or District HQs and in the Academy. Subjects include Ansar & VDP organization, basic drill, handling of weapon, basic knowledge on fisheries, livestock, poultry, agriculture, horticulture, family health, gender issues, etc.

18. Training Institutions

There are mainly three training institutions, thirty two computer training centers and twelve driving training centers in Ansar & VDP. Ansar & VDP Academy is at Shafipur, Vocational Training Centers at Gazipur and Kolakopa and the other training centers are in different District HQs.

Training conducted in various institutions and establishment are shown on screen:

Sl Training Institute/ Establishments Training Curriculum
1 Ansar VDP Academy

(Established in)All types of training for officers, Ansar & VDP members including vocational training on various subjects.

Motor driving, Electrician Engineering, Fridge and Air-conditioner Repairing, Mobile Phone Repairing, computer training, Plumbing & Pipe Fitting, Household Electrical Wiring, Shuttering Carpentry, Welding, Rod Binding and Steel Fixing, Electrical Wiring, Steel Fixture, Building Painting, and Garments Training etc.)2VTC Gazipur

(Established in)Sewing, Stitching and Embroidery training, AC Repair & Electrician, Welding3VTC Kolakopa, Dhaka

(Established in)Sewing, Stitching and Embroidery training4Selected District HQsAnsar VDP basic training, Computer, mobile repair, Fishery, poultry and Driving, etc.

Operational Activities of The Force

Members of Ansar and VDP are presently engaged in three types of operations. Those are:

  1. Law and Order Operation
  2. CHTs Operation
  3. Development Operation

Law and Order:

a.   Ansar-VDP is the largest Government organization working for an environment which is conducive to socio-economic development and a better quality of life for the people, especially, for rural poor people. The VDP/TDP members of the interior areas of the country are used to voluntarily guard local Hats, Bazars, important Areas & their own Localities. Besides, they also extend help to the Police in apprehending the miscreants & wanted criminals of their own areas.

  1. Battalion Ansar are working for security of Jatio Sangshad Bhaban, Bangladesh Bater, Shetu Bhavan, Central Jail, Bangladesh Secretariat, Mujib-Nagar Museum, Immigration Check post. In Shetu Bhaban Battalion Ansar are fully responsible for the security of it and it is the first individual and self command camp of battalion Ansar.  They are also deployed with police to maintain law and order and also to join special combing & anti-terrorist operations. Recently 100 Battalion Ansars were deployed in Sylhet District for Prime Minister’s root protection. In the DMP, CMP, Rajshahi, Natore, Nawgaon, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Bhola & the southern belt of the country 4818 Battalion Ansars are presently deployed. In CI-operation 6209 and in Rohingya refugee camp 148 Battalion Ansars are deployed. It is to be mentioned that 430 Battalion Ansars are deployed with RAB on deputation.
  2. The main concentration of the Ansar Bahini (Embodied Ansars) is to guard important industries, EPZ, Air Ports, Power Stations, Railway lines, Bridges, Buses, Launches and other key point installations. At present 37,488 embodied Ansars are deployed in different organizations. The embodied Ansars are selected from among the trained volunteer Ansars. As per requisition from any requiring body for its own security the District Commandant is embodied the Ansar.  There is a black and white policy issued by the Headquarter regarding Ansar embodiment.

21. Location of Battalions on map:

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The Ansar-Vdp Unnayan Bank

It was a long expected requirement to establish a financial institution for the development of Ansar – VDP members. As a result, Government has taken initiative so that they become able to participate in the income generating activities (IGA) through micro credit and to mitigate the poverty. With that end in view, Ansar – VDP Unnayan Bank (AVUB) has been established by the 21st Act of 1995 i.e. The Ansar – VDP Unnayan Bank, 1995. It is a specialized bank which is established only for the development of Ansar-VDP members. So far total 170 branches of the bank have been opened through the country.

Protirodh

14. To promote consciousness and awareness among the Ansar-VDP Members and to motivate them about the self employment & income generating activities and the role played by the normal Ansar – VDP members both male and female, embodied Ansars, Battalion Ansars for the maintenance of law and order situation and socio-economic development of the country.

Monthly magazine, Protirodh is published under the arrangements of Ansar and VDP HQ.

Conclusion

Our contributions in various fields of national rekindling in last 3 decades need not be over emphasized. However, there is no reason to feel complacent and we’re determined to strive for greater success. The main spirits of voluntary enrolment, training, commitment, voluntary participation, self-help, patriotism, social capital and good citizenship have turned this force into a vibrant interactive zone to bridge between Government and the People. Our effort would continue to impart realistic training and motivation to all our men of women for the attainment of better tomorrow for our posterity. I thank you very much for your patient hearing. We always value the power of the people to augment human security. We are always beside the people when nobody arrived yet and also when everybody had left.