Work for enhancing economic growth
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, in reply to a query if the recent killings of three people by members of the Bangladesh Border Guard in Thakurgaon, will be probed, said “Nobody is above the law.”
He ducked a question if the Home Ministry was investigating the incident.
Asaduzzaman Khan was briefing reporters after the 24th founding anniversary program of the Bangladesh Coast Guard at its headquarters in Agargaon, Dhaka on Thursday.
On Tuesday, three people, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed in a clash between the BGB personnel and locals in the Haripur upazila of the Thakurgaon district.
On the same night, the local administration formed a three-member probe committee, headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner Nur Kutubul Alam to investigate the incident.
The Home Minister said "Despite limitations of resources and manpower, the Coast Guard members are playing a commendable role in saving lives and property of the people living in the coastal areas.
They are contributing in maintaining law and order, preserving fisheries and preventing illegal activities since its formation.”
Praising their efforts in checking smuggling and other menaces, the minister hoped that the members will fulfil the prime minister's expectations, by working to enhance the blue economy and help improve the economic growth of the maritime sector.
The Coast Guard seized smuggled goods worth Tk8,647 crore which include current net and illegal drugs. Of the total, yaba worth Tk1,077 crore was seized and 4,000 criminals arrested since their inception, he added.
He said: “We want to see the Coast Guard as guardian of the sea in all their efforts.”
Modernizing Coast Guard
Regarding modernization the Coast Guard, minister said that the ministry has medium and long-term plans and efforts are on to develop the Coast Guard force.
To increase the capacity of the force, there are plans to add modern platforms like all weather capable ships, hovercrafts, drones, helicopters and maritime patrol aircrafts.
With these means it will be possible to increase rescue operations, prevent smuggling and surveillance in the sea areas. There are plans to recruit more manpower to build a professional base in efforts to make it a specialized force, he added.
The Bangladesh Coast Guard Director General (DG) Rear Admiral M Ashraful Haque delivered the welcome speech, where top military and civil officials of Coast Guard and other forces including the Navy were present.