wielding baton

Bangladesh Ansar

Bangladesh Ansar is a para-military organization of Village Guards in Bangladesh. Mostly a voluntary force, it recruits mainly from farmers and artisans and its main objective is to aid the Regular Armed Forces and Police Force in War, Insurgency or anti-crime drives.

Recruits are given basic training in elementary Maths and Bangla, physically trained (usually aerobics, weight training and obstacle training and calisthenics, running etc.) and some basic weapons' training, like Lathi-wielding (baton-wielding), firing .303 Police Service Rifles, 9mm Browning Pistols and Heckler&Koch MP 5 Sub-machine guns, Sword-wielding and basic martial arts (usually an elementary version of Karate).

The Ansars motto is : "Iman , Jihad fi-Sabeelillah - La ilaha illAllah ; and Nara-e-Taqbir Allah hu Akbar !"

The Ansars are organized on a District-level basis, with each District Ansar Brigade under the direct command of the District Superintendent of Police. Members receive an honorary salary of 2000 Bangladeshi Takas per month (equivalent to 1000 Indian Rupees)

To date, the Ansar has been employed in numerous operations - Operation Dal-Bhat - to prevent illegal hoarding of food products, Operation Badr - to prevent arms smuggling through its Border with India (near Meghalaya ). Its biggest operation to date is Operation Rescue - to rescue survivors of the cyclone that hit coastal areas on 22 November, 2007.

The Ansar has been accused by India of aiding the smuggling of small arms, explosives, drugs and cattle across the border between the two countries. The Ansars have also played a role in the infiltration and exfiltration of Pakistani ISI agents through the Indo-Bangladesh border.

The Ansars were first instituted in 1978 by Major-General Ziaur Rahman - then President of Bangladesh. The minimum age of recruitment to the Ansar Force is 16, and maximum is 40. There are no physical measurement standards for recruitment except a minimum height requirement of 153cms for males.

Vehicles - Several vehicles are used by the Ansars in its operations, such as 4x4s, police jeeps, tractor-tempos, tempos and trucks.

Uniform - Though made up of mainly civilian recruits, the Ansars have a working uniform - usually a Brown-Khaki Beret cap with its insignia, a Khaki shirt with double-breasted pockets with flap covers, epaulettes , lanyards for whistles, 2-inch broad white nylon belts, Khaki trousers, black Police shoes/boots, and an arm-bands to be worn on the right-arm depicting the insignia of the Government of Bangladesh. Name-plates are issued to higher-ranking members of the Ansars, to be worn on the right side, and stripes are worn on the epaulettes and left arm signifying rank.

Rank and insignia

Jawan/Sepoy - 1 Stripe

Senior Jawan - 2 stripes

Platoon Master - 3 stripes (commands a platoon of 15-20 men)

Sergeant - 4 stripes and a star (commands 2-4 platoons )

Sub-Inspector - 4 stripes and 2 stars (commands around 4 sergaents - about 16 platoons)

All officers ranking above Sub-Inspector are from the Regular Police Cadre.

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