IN AID TO CIVIL POWER - ACHIEVEMENTS OF 11 INFANTRY DIVISION
1. Introduction. With the proclamation of state of emergency in the country, 11 Infantry Division has been deployed in the ten districts of North Bengal ''In Aid to Civil Power''. In the dynamic drive of this Division, law and order situation has been significantly improved during this period. In the recent past, due to Socio-political unrest, the whole nation stepped into an inferno. Country's economy, administration, education, health sector, law and order etc were jeopardized by the unruly mischievous actions of the so called political parties. To end the frustrating chaos, Bangladesh Army stood rock solid beside the interim government and the situation improved drastically. Rule of law has been restored in every sector and people are getting the result of good governance. In this great effort, 11 Infantry Division has a significant contribution in the ten districts of North Bengal; Bogra, Natore, Pabna, Naogaon, Rajshahi, Chapai Nawabgonj, Kushtia, Meherpur, Chuadanga and Rajbari. The salient aspects of these achievements are following:
a. Drive Against Terrorism and Corruption. In the successful operation of Army against terrorism, anarchy and corruption, people have got a great relief now. In 'OPERATION ALOR SHONDHANE', from all the districts within Area of Responsibility (AOR) of 11 Infantry Division, a total of 846 persons have been arrested which include infamous godfathers and enlisted criminals of this area.
b. Recovery of Illegal Arms and Ammunitions. In the drive against terrorists and miscreants, a huge number of illegal arms and ammunitions have been recovered from the districts within AOR. In this recovery, 450 various types of local and imported arms, 2370 various types of ammunitions, grenades, bombs, cocktails and explosives are included.
c. Recovery of Illegal Encroachments and . Influential political and local leaders had been illegally enjoying various government owned land and properties for a long period of time. At the wake of emergency, in the AOR of 11 Infantry Division, Army personnel have recovered a total 1540.6867 acres of land illegally occupied by the terrorists and miscreants. A good number of illegal installations were also evicted from the government land in this drive.
. Influential political and local leaders had been illegally enjoying various government owned land and properties for a long period of time. At the wake of emergency, in the AOR of 11 Infantry Division, Army personnel have recovered a total 1540.6867 acres of land illegally occupied by the terrorists and miscreants. A good number of illegal installations were also evicted from the government land in this drive.
d. Anti-Adulteration Drive
. This formation has undertaken ‘Anti Adulteration Drive
’ on a regular basis. As a result, the quality of food, commodities and hygiene system of shops/ restaurants have improved remarkably. As a part of anti-adulteration drive, a number of restaurants, hotels, factories, markets, pharmacies were checked by joint forces and fined Tk 21,91,150/- for selling rotten foods, using improper weight in selling goods, maintaining unhygienic environment, trading date expired medicines and producing adulterated food items. This drive has contributed in ensuring quality and standard of all commodities.
e. Drive Against Illegal Drug. Joint forces have carried out a number of successful operations against the illegal drug traders. In this drive, illegal drug items worth 1,60,000/- Tk was seized from Adamdighi and Shantahar of Bogra. From Naogaon, 105 Kg Ganja was seized. As a result of these kind of drives, number of drug users and traders are decreasing day by day in this area.
f. Anti - Hoarding Operations. Anti - hoarding operation in this area has made a positive impact in controlling price hike of the essential commodities. In this operation, from Silimpur, Bogra, joint forces seized 2,601 metric tons of pulse worth Tk 17,00000,00/- which was illegally stocked. Besides this, 145.50 ton Rice, 2657.45 ton Pulse, 16.50 ton Sugar, 5580 litre Soyabin Oil, 800 litre Coconut Oil and 5000 Blankets were seized. During this drive, total 61 godowns were sealed which were reopened later. Out of all recovered food items, the date expired and rotten items were destroyed in presence of magistrates. Other items were returned to the owners and efforts were taken to sell those items quickly at normal market price following all legal procedures. Till now, joint forces have been constantly vigilant to resist any sort of illegal hoarding of any goods in this area.
g. Market Control. Presently units deployed in different districts are conducting meeting with Chamber of Commerce and local business community once in a month to control and monitor price hike. Sudden checking by Joint Forces along with other concerned agencies are being carried out in the markets to keep the price stable. 'Fare Price Shops' under direct and indirect supervision of Army are being run in all districts and Upazilas. At present, total 132 such Fare Price Shops are functioning in all districts. Beside regular monitoring and control of market price, this formation, in coordination with local administration and business community carried out regular joint inspection in the markets to ensure proper weight and quality of commodities.
h. Recovery of Outstanding Electricity, Telephone, Gas and Water Bills. Recovery of outstanding bills are in progress. Outstanding bills recovered so far within AOR are as under:
(1) Electricity. Tk. 269,11,59,727.00
(2) Telephone. Tk. 291,14,4,273.00
(3) Gas. Tk. 113,16,64,036.00
(4) Water. Tk. 257,35,138.25
j. Fertilizer Issue. To meet the crisis of fertilizer, various steps have been taken. Efforts are made to ensure direct selling of fertilizer to the farmers by the dealers as per existing policy. Strict monitoring is done to prevent smuggling of fertilizer. Fertilizer demand and supply are being monitored regularly. Regular meetings are held with District and Upazila Agriculture Officers to assess the supply and demand of fertilizer. Depending on the requirement, readjustment of allotment is done among the Upazilas to meet the ground realities. Regular patrol is conducted in port areas to ensure timely and proper unloading of ships containing fertilizer and also ensuring timely delivery of fertilizer to the various buffer godowns. Patrol is carried out at fertilizer distribution points to monitor and ensure smooth and fair distribution. During different Joint Operations, 204.55 ton Urea, 15326.50 ton TSP, 13.30 ton Bangla TSP, 10 ton Gypsum, 3815.65 ton MOP and 2465.20 ton DMP 73 bags/ bottles date expired insecticides were seized. Recovered fertilizers were sold to the farmers in government price.
k. Recovery of Outstanding Bank Loans. In the joint operation to recover long outstanding bank loans in the AOR of 11 Infantry Division, a total Tk 4,74,16,000/- was recovered for 16 government and private banks. As a result of this operation banks are getting back their capitals which is ultimately strengthening our economy.
l. Recovery of Stolen Government Relief Materials. Joint forces have recovered a huge quantity of various relief materials including winter cloths, food grains, tubewell, tin etc from the ten districts within AOR. In this connection, corrupted political leaders including ex Members of Parliament were apprehended.
m. Power Saving Programme OPERATION ALOKITO UTTOR. In the ten districts within AOR, power sector has got a new momentum with various actions taken by 11 Infantry Division. In our country, production of electricity is much lesser than the requirement. In this context, only effective management, controlling system loss and pragmatic steps to save energy can keep this power crisis under control. With this aim, 11 Infantry Division has taken a comprehensive programme, 'OPERATION ALOKITO UTTOR'. To save energy consumption, in coordination with all the electricity supply authority and power service sectors, actions have been taken to introduce 'Energy Saving Bulbs' instead of normal bulbs in every place. Moreover, steps are taken to include the 'Captive Power' (the unutilized electricity generated in the local factories and industries) in the national grid to meet the power crisis. So far, within AOR by replacing normal bulbs with energy saving bulbs, 20 MW Electricity has been saved which is specially contributing in functioning the irrigation system during dry season. If this plan is executed successfully, in the first phase, 60 MW and in the 2nd phase 125 MW electricity will be saved and overall electricity service will be improved. Moreover, strict monitoring is done to ensure optimum production in power generation. Security and smooth functioning of power stations are also being ensured by the Joint Forces. At present this Division is providing security to 'Bheramara Power Station'. In this Power Station, our Electrical and Mechanical Engineer personnel are also supervising repair and maintenance work. As a result, Power Stations are functioning efficiently.
n. Restoring Order in the Health Sector. Due to mismanagement in the health sector, common people had been suffering for a long time. Besides government hospitals, thousands of private clinics and diagnostic centres raised like mushrooms in the country, where minimum standard for treatment of human being was absent. To end this disorder, this Division took some effective measures which includes periodical checking to ensure regular attendance of doctors employed in the government and private hospitals, surprise inspection by the mobile courts along with concerned agencies to inspect private clinics, hospitals and laboratory/ diagnostic centres. Division medical team so far inspected most of the health service centres, especially private clinics, hospitals, diagnostic centres and pharmacies of this area. Identifying a lot of irregularities, they fined Tk 30,64,000/- and sealed/closed the defaulter clinics/diagnostic centres. Number of operations were carried out within AOR to seize date expired and illegal medicines from the medical stores. These operations are still in progress and because of these actions, people are now getting better and quality service from those clinics and diagnostic centres.
p. Success of SHOBJI SHORNIRVOR Project. People of this area had been experiencing regular shortage of vegetables during off season due to lack of production. As a result, price of these vegetables goes very high. To meet the crisis, 11 Infantry Division took a programme in the AOR to utilize the available cultivable land to the maximum by producing various essential green vegetables. Local Army units inspired the poor and landless farmers to utilize unused cultivable land, providing seeds, fertilizer and other required assistance to them. In this project, people's response was encouraging. Under this project, egg-plants, green peeper, onion and other vegetables are produced in a large scale. In the ten districts, 50,199 hector land was cultivated and 5,29,983.11 metric tons of various types of vegetables were produced. Army units also assisted the farmers in marketing these products. After meeting the demand of local market, the excess vegetables were sent to Dhaka and other places of the country. This project has created a very positive impact on the market in controlling price hike.
q. Implementation of Multi-Purpose Project. To generate income and create employment opportunities for low income groups, multi-purpose projects have been undertaken in different Abashon Projects within area of responsibility. One of such project is at Hemayetpur, Pabna which aims at developing the socio-economic condition and the standard of living of 250 families residing in that Abashon project. A total of 1000 people, living in this Abashon have become the direct beneficiary of this multi-purpose project. 11 Infantry Division has been implementing the project by arranging various facilities such as security, loan, technical knowledge, necessary guidance to the targeted community etc. In this process, to create fund, honest and wealthy local people are motivated for supporting the project. To generate interest among the poor people Army personnel are counseling them to make co-operative and implement suitable projects which can provide short term return. These projects, mainly multi-purpose in nature includes Fisheries Project, Duck Project, Papaya Project, Apple kool Project, Cow Project, Handicraft Project etc. The notable point is that, all products or by products of these projects will be consumed or utilized by the targeted community at an economy rate. Poor and distressed people have been immensely benefited from this project and it has become a role model for socio-economic development.
r. Introduction of FOUR COW DAIRY PROJECT. Another self reliance project is underway in the ten districts of this formation, named 'Four Cow Dairy Project'. Though little expensive but people are very much interested for this project. A total 3,00,000.00 taka for foreign cows and a land of 6 decimal areas will be required to implement this project. Such project can also be established with four indigenous cows costing 1,45,000.00 taka. Such farm of four (cross breed/indigenous) cows can easily earn 45,000.00/1,00,000.00 taka in each month. This formation is working in different districts to motivate people and provide required assistance to the interested individual/co-operatives. A good number of people have shown interest in this project. With successful implementation, it will definitely make a significant contribution in uplifting the standard of living of the poor community in the targeted areas.
s. Some Special Operations /Drives in the AOR of 11 Infantry Division.
(1) Operations in the Brick Fields. In this operation, 124 brick fields were inspected to check trade license, documents, height of the chimneys, sources of fuel etc. For irregularities in some brick fields, owners were fined Tk 2,65,000/- and warned accordingly. As a result of these operations, brick fields are now functioning lawfully.
(2) Operations in the Saw Mills. In this operation, 53 saw mills were inspected to check trade license, documents, sources of wood etc. For irregularities in 88 saw mills, 10,84,600/- Tk was fined and others were warned. As a result of these operations, saw mills are now functioning as per the law of the land.
(3) Implementation of Area-Wise Holidays for Industrial Units. This formation is closely monitoring the implementation of government order regarding area wise holidays for industrial units to save electricity.(4) Eviction Drive
on the Highways. Recently illegal constructions were removed fromBelkuchi-Enayetpur Road
in Pabna district and 1851 squire metre area were recovered. So far, total 1296.8188 acres of land were recovered from illegal occupants. Local administration is making necessary planning to utilize the recovered land purposefully and to prevent further illegal occupation.
(5) Proper Functioning of Educational Institutions. In the ten districts within AOR of 11 Infantry Division, 5,633 government and non-government educational institutions were inspected by the Army personnel to check whether these are following the government rules and regulations properly. Presence of teachers and students and overall standard of these schools/colleges are also being checked regularly. For this inspection, all the educational institutions are functioning smoothly.
(6) Presence of Government Officials in Respective Offices. Presence of government officials in their offices are being checked regularly. Total 20 operations were conducted and 256 government officials were found absent in different offices which was intimated to the concerned authorities for departmental actions. Sudden visits are still on and thereby, presence of government officials in the offices is now satisfactory.
(7) Proper Function of Petrol Pumps/Fuel Stations. Petrol pumps are being checked regularly to ensure trading of quality petroleum and to stop tempering in pump machines. So far, defaulters were fined total Tk 3,65,200/- by joint forces.
(8) Re-Opening of Closed Filling Station at Chuadanga. Total 7 Filling stations at Chuadanga district were closed since 22 Feb 07 for alleged illegal smuggling petroleum to the neighboring country. This created a huge problem for the farmers, local transportation, irrigation etc. In this circumstance, this formation took immediate action with the concerned authority and reopened two filling stations. It was a tremendous help to the farmers to collect diesel for irrigation. The remaining fuel stations are in the process of reopening. These reopened patrol pumps will be monitored closely against any irregularity.
(9) Improvement in the Traffic System. This formation is regularly monitoring the proper functioning of highways within AOR to avoid unwanted traffic congestion. In the process, joint forces have ensured that roadside markets/whole-sale temporary shops are not placed on the main roads for uninterrupted plying of vehicles. The observance of restriction on use of hydraulic horns in the specified places are also being monitored.
(10) Drive to Reduce Excessive Load of Prisoners in Jails. In coordination with the district administration, this formation collected an updated statistics of the prisoners in various jails. A proposition as per given guideline has been formulated jointly with Jail Authority and the district administration to reduce prisoners from the over crowded jails. This formation is also constantly coordinating with district administration so that wanted identified criminals cannot exploit the immunity offered by the government.
(11) Monitoring Plying of Permitted Vehicles on the Road. This formation has conducted a number of operations to identify unfit vehicles, possession of illegal transport documents, illegal parking and other irregularities within AOR.
(12) Arranging Payment of Outstanding Wages for the Workers of Kawmi Jute Mills. This formation has taken timely steps to ensure payment of outstanding wages of workers of Kawmi Jute Mill. The jute mill authority has already paid part of the outstanding wages to the workers while remaining payment is in the process.
(13) Operation in Milk and Livestock Farm at Sherpur, Bogra. Members of this formation visited the Milk and Livestock Development Farm in Sherpur, Bogra and identified that the farm has become a loosing concern due to poor infrastructural management, inefficient administration and lack of accountability of the responsible ministry. To make the farm a productive one, this formation has conducted a detail study and survey. The findings and recommendations have been forwarded to Army Headquarters.
(14) Conservation of Fisheries Within AOR. To conserve our fisheries, joint forces are assisting local administration in the drive against illegal users of current nets. From the various spots/rivers and bills, so far 90,000 metre current net worth 19,00000/- Tk was seized. These seized nets were destroyed and burnt under supervision of local administration. It is expected that this drive will create a very positive impact in the production of fisheries in our AOR.
(15) Recovery of Antique Statues. Joint Forces recovered 2 valuable and antique stone-made statues from Manda of Naogaon district. The total estimated price of these antiques is Tk 1,30,00000/-. After recovery, the statues were handed over to local Police.
(16) Recovery of Fertilizer. A huge quantity of various types of fertilizers was seized from Kahalu, Bogra. Some illegal traders collected 25 sacks of Urea, TSP, MOP and they were trying to sell those in the market at a high price. Four persons arrested in this connection. In another operation at Vangura, Pabna, an army petrol seized a boat, containing 124 sacks of fertilizer and arrested one person. More 81 sacks of various types of fertilizers were also recovered in this drive.
(17) Medical Assistance in the Diarrhoea Affected Areas. Medical Teams from 11 Infantry Division went to Chapi Nowabgonj and other diarrhoea affected areas to assist local administration to manage the crisis in the month of October 07. These medical teams visited various hospitals and affected areas to provide necessary treatment. With this effort, diarrhoea situation was successfully controlled.
(18) Monitoring All the Construction Works Within AOR. The Engineer Battalion of 11 Infantry Division has been constantly supervising all the construction works in the ten districts within AOR. Members of the battalion are inspecting construction of roads and highways and various projects of the government in regular basis. This inspection is carried out to ensure quality control and timely completion of the various projects. This kind of supervision will definitely bear a significant impact on the government constructed projects.
t. Contribution in OPERATION NOBO JATRA. This formation has been assisting the Election Commission in preparation of Voter List with photo and National ID Card. In the ten districts within AOR, this project will be completed as per schedule and this Division is committed to finish the assigned task given by the government. This voter list and ID Card will contribute in successful conduct of the national and local elections in future.
u. Relief and Rehabilitation Operation in the Flood Affected Areas. In 11 Infantry Division, this year devastating flood ruined several districts of this area. Relief and Rehabilitation Operation in the flood affected areas are still on. Deployed forces are doing the needful in co-ordination with local people and district/Upazila administration. During flood, affected people were rescued, given shelters, provided medical support and other assistance they needed. Army also supervised distribution of relief materials in flood affected areas by the district administration. It is to mention that, this Division established 543 rehabilitation centres, 3 food points in co-ordination with local administration, 14 medical teams, 3 mobile hospitals for the flood victims. To tackle the post flood situation, Army has given financial and material assistance to the helpless weavers and other people to restart their livelihood and reconstruct their houses. Deployed units of this Formation have taken initiatives to help the poor students to continue their study. Besides material assistance, they are also inspiring the flood victims to be self-reliant. These humanitarian activities of 11 Infantry Division have won the hearts of the common people.
v. Introduction of CHASHI BAZAR. The ceaseless price hiking of the essential commodities has made common people's life miserable. At the same time, the poor growers of those commodities are not getting the benefits of this high price due to the middlemen. To minimize the sufferings of the people and to ensure fare price for the farmers, 11 Infantry Division has taken an exceptional programme in the ten districts within AOR. Under the supervision of Army, in district and Upazilla level, a number of toll free markets, called 'Chashi Bazar' have been arranged in the common places for all. Farmers are directly selling their products at a fixed rate to the customers without giving any toll and thereby people are getting these fresh products at a lower price than that of other markets. In these markets, other common traders are also allowed to sell their products. With the impact of 'Chashi Bazar', price of the essential commodities in the other markets have been decreased remarkably. Poor farmers and common people have highly appreciated this initiative and requested to run more Chashi Bazars in other places. In this AOR of 11 Infantry Division so far 24 toll free Chashi Bazars have been established and more markets are going to be started soon.
w. Growing Fishes in the Low Lying Areas Within AOR. The abundance of fisheries in our country has become a history now. Unfortunately, many of the rivers, ponds, lakes and bills are left abandoned where a huge quantity of fisheries can be produced. Recently 11 Infantry Division has initiated a plan to utilize uncultivated low lying areas for growing fishes. In the ten districts within AOR, a survey was made which indicated that 14,915.23 hectors of government and private owned low lying areas are there, where cultivation of fisheries has a promising future. Army personnel have identified the cultivable areas for fish cultivation, motivated people to grow fish in their own land or in the leased land, rendered substantial help to the poor fishermen to grow fish and thereby, most of the abandoned low lying areas have come under the fish growing project. Army has been assisting the people in co-ordination with the local administration and Fisheries Department and they are receiving very positive response from all corners. If most of the cultivable low lands are utilized properly, there will be a revolution in the production of fisheries in all the ten districts of 11 Infantry Division and definitely it will inspire others to utilize the barren low lying lands in the respective areas.
x. Participation in the Humanitarian Activities. 11 Infantry Division is deployed in ten districts to assist civil administration 'In Aid to Civil Power'. Besides operational activities, deployed units in their respective AOR have been contributing in various humanitarian acts which includes helping genius poor students by providing books, stationery and money, arrange sponsors to assist poor people/ students, assist aged persons to receive government allowance, creating job opportunity for poor people, distribute relief items among the students etc. In this effort, total 154 students and 85 distressed aged persons have been given financial assistance, students of two schools are given relief items and coordination are made with the concerned authority to ensure proper distribution of government allowance for the aged persons.
2. Conclusion. 11 Infantry Division has been fully committed and consistently involved in implementing all the assigned tasks and programmes of the higher headquarters. Besides routine affairs, this formation successfully accomplished various projects and plans related to nation building and humanitarian activities in its AOR. This Division is committed and imbued with the ideals of patriotism and sacrifice. Apart from the sacred duty of defending the territorial integrity of the country, we are actively involved in nation-building activities and in the process, we earned love and admiration from all walks of life. Every member of this Division is always ready to work with the people and help them to stand out from any crisis. The achievements of 11 Infantry Division in assisting the civil administration for maintaining law and order are also significant and laudable. We believe that the members of this Division will continue to be inspired by patriotism and selfless sacrifice of their predecessors and thereby devote themselves even more to the service of the nation. Let us take a fresh vow to work together to build a prosperous Bangladesh and to consolidate our freedom and sovereignty.