Border Guard Bangladesh
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|Border Guard Bangladesh|
Flag of BGB
|Active||1795 - present|
|Engagements||First World War, Second World War, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Bangladesh Liberation War|
|Decorations||1. Bir Shreshtha
2. Bir Uttam
3. Bir Bikram
4. Bir Pratik
|DG||Major General Rafiqul Islam|
|Director(Ops & Trg)||Colonel|
Border Guard Bangladesh (formerly known as Bangladesh Rifles) is the oldest uniformed force in Bangladesh. It is a paramilitary force under the Ministry of Home Affairs of Bangladesh. BGB is primarily responsible for the border security of the country, in Bangladesh the force is known as "The Vigilant Sentinels of the National Frontier".
Border Guard Bangladesh, a paramilitary force, is entrusted with the responsibility of defending the border of the country. It is the first line of defense for the nation. BGB boasts an illustrious past with rich traditions and remarkable military history of more than 2 centuries. BGB is playing a vital role by defending a long border line of 4,427 km of Bangladesh. At the same time this force is also involved in anti-smuggling operations, investigating cross border crime and extending governmental authority to remote and isolated areas. Border Guards Bangladesh has also been called upon from time to time for assisting the administration in the maintenance of internal law & order, relief and rehabilitation work after any kind of natural disaster and during wartime BGB comes under the control of the Ministry of Defense by law as a reserve force.
- Ramgarh Local Battalion (1795–1861):
The BGB began was establsihed at 29th June,1795 at 'Ramgrah' city with 486 personnel as the “Frontier Protection Force” under the command of the East India Company. Later the force was converted in to a paramilitary unit with its own name (Ramgarh Local Battalion) and uniform to suppress insurgents around the Ramgarh area. During 1799, the force established its first camp at today’s Dhaka’s Peelkhana, where the headquarters still remain to this day. The camp unit was known as “Special Reserve Company”.
- Frontier Guards (1861–1891):
The Ramgarh Local Battalion was renamed the as the Frontier Guards and remained so for thirty years.
- Bengal Military Police (1891–1919):
The Frontier Guards was re-organized and equipped with more modern weapons, in 1891 as the ‘Bengal Military Police’. Commanded by a Subedar (Senior Warrant Officer), the BMP had four companies located at Dhaka, Dhumka and Gangtok. This force also took part in the First World War.
- Eastern Frontier Rifles (1920–1947):
The BMP was reorganized yet once again and renamed as the ‘Eastern Frontier Rifles’ in 1920. Its primary task was to protect the borders. It also took part in numerous military operations during the Second World War.
- East Pakistan Rifles (1947–1971):
After the partition of the British Indian sub-continent ‘Eastern Frontier Rifles’ was re-grouped and re-named as the 'East Pakistan Rifles'. It was the primary border protection force of the then East Pakistan. A number of Metropolitan Armed Police of Calcutta and some 1,000 ex-soldiers of West Pakistan merged into the force. Officers from the army were transferred to command and reorganize EPR. In 1958 it was also assigned the anti-smuggling duties on top its primary role as the border guards. In 1965 India Pakistan war this force had fought valiantly and successfully in a number of skirmishes in Lathitila, Dohogram, Laksmipur, Assalong and Boroibari. Major Tofael was awarded the highest military award of erstwhile Pakistan, ‘Nishan-e-Haider’, for his action in the Laksmipur Operation. The strength of the force was 13,454 in March 1971.
- Bangladesh Rifles (1971–2010):
During the war of independence members of the EPR first responded to Major Ziaur Rahman's declaration of independence by grouping with Zia's forces. Some were already with Zia before declaration. Rifles' members participated in the liberation struggle right from its inception. Members of the EPR were instrumental in setting up posts of BDF Sector 11 in Teldhala which Zia organised and formed. After the war was over, the East Pakistan Rifles was pronounced and re-named the Bangladesh Rifles in January 29th of 1972 at the final Bangladesh Forces Sector Commanders Conference presided by General M.A.G Osmani.
- Border Guard Bangladesh (2010–onward): From 2010 Bangladesh Rifles had gone through some fundamental changes. It was officially renamed as Border Guards Bangladesh on January 23, 2011.
Liberation War & BDR
During the liberation war of 1971 nearly nine thousand of its members took up arms against the brutal genocide of Pakistan Army. Eight hundred and seventeen of those were known to be killed in action.
The then East Pakistan Rifles, now BGB joined the Bangladesh Liberation War on the side of East Pakistan in 1971. One hundred and forty one members earned gallantry awards for their outstanding contribution to the liberation war of Bangladesh. Two of them Lance Naik Nur Mohammad Sheikh and Lance Naik Munshi Abdur Rouf posthumously earned the Bir Sreshtha, which is the highest gallantry award of the nation; 8 earned the Bir Uttam, 40 earned the Bir Bikram and 91 earned the Bir Protik awards. After independence, on 3 March 1972 the force had been renamed as Bangladesh Rifles. As a mark of recognition for the courage and bravery of its members, BDR introduced 'Bangladesh Rifles Podok' in 1985 and President Rifles podok’ in 1989. So far, 21 members had received the 'Bangladesh Rifles Podok' and 29 had received the ‘President Rifles Podok’.
- Patrolling and securing the border
- Investigating cross border crimes
- Anti-smuggling Operations
- Counter Terrorism
- Domestic law enforcement during national emergencies
- Acting as a reserve force under M.O.D. during war
The BGB is commanded by a Major General. The BGB administration and almost its entire officer corps are trained and deputed from the Bangladesh Army. There are however, around 100 officers who are promoted from within the force itself. They can be promoted as high as Deputy Director (D.D) which is equivalent to the rank of Lt. Colonel and Assistant Director(A.D) equivalent to the rank of major and Deputy Assistant Director(D.A.D) equivalent to the rank of Captain in Bangladesh Army . Its current strength is 67,000+ structured along 61 battalions and numerous border outposts (B.O.P.), mostly along the borders.
BGB is organized into a central headquarters and 4 regional headquarters. Under the regional headquarters there are 12 sectors. Each sector is commanded by a Colonel.
- Central HQ: Pilkhana, Dhaka
- Director-General (DG):
- Deputy Director-General (DDG):
- Director (Operations and Training):
- Director (Administration):
- Sector Command (Dhaka):
- North Eastern Regional HQ: Sarail
- North Western Regional HQ: Naogaon
- South Eastern Regional HQ: Khagrachari
- South Western Regional HQ: Jessore
- Director-General (DG):
|Type 92||Semi-automatic pistol||9mm||China||Standard issue sidearm.|
|Type 54||Semi-automatic pistol||7.62mm||China||Chinese version of Soviet Tokarev TT-33 in service with all branches of armed, para-military and law enforcement services.|
|BD-08||Assault rifle||7.62mm||Bangladesh||Produced under license by BOF.|
|M16A4||Assault rifle||5.56mm||United States||With M203 grenade launcher.|
|Type 85||Sniper rifle||7.62mm||China|
|BD-08||Light machine gun||7.62mm||Bangladesh||Produced under license by BOF.|
|Bren Gun||Light machine gun||7.62mm||United Kingdom|
|Rheinmetall MG 3||General purpose machine gun||7.62mm||Germany|
|Type 63-1||Mortar||60 mm||China||Being replaced by Type 93.|
|M 29A1||Mortar||81mm||United States|
|Otokar Cobra||LAV||24||Turkey||A 4x4 wheeled LAV. 17 Received in 2008. 7 are in use with Bangladesh Police since 2007.|
|BGB Shah Jalal||Coastal Patrol Craft||1||Japan||Akagi class.|
February 2009 Coup d'état
On 25 February 2009, the regular BDR soldiers massacred senior officials including family members, killing almost the entire higher echelon of the command structure (about 57 Army officers who were present in the BDR HQ), including the Director General of BDR. However, after all the killings, 48 hrs later by early morning hours of 27th February 2009 security forces in Bangladesh rounded up hundreds of fugitive border guards after a two-day mutiny crumbled in the face of a government show of force. The arrests came a day after army tanks surrounded the Bangladesh Rifles’ headquarters in the capital Dhaka. Sheikh Hasina's Awami League government took heavy slack from the Army and the public for delaying action. Unprecedent as it was and sounded, the government released a cooked up story, swallowed by the media regarding members frustration about pay and benefits. Suicides and disappearances of BDR members continued for a prolonged period. Sudden unexplained deaths of BDR men occured at many jails across the nation. Secret trials are all being undertaken behind closed doors.