Bangladesh Ansar is world’s largest Paramilitary force
The Bangladesh Ansar (also known as the Ansar Bahini) is a paramilitary auxiliary force responsible for the preservation of internal security and law enforcement in Bangladesh. It is administered by the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of Bangladesh.
|Country|| Pakistan (1948–1971)
|Type||Paramilitary Internal Security, Law Enforcement, Gendarmerie|
|Engagements||1965 Indo-Pak War
Bangladesh Liberation War
|Decorations||1. Bir Sreshtho
2. Bir Uttom
3. Bir Bikrom
4. Bir Protik
|Director General||Major General Sheikh Pasha Habib Uddin|
the name originates from the Arabic word of “Ansar”, which denotes a “volunteer” and specifically refers to the companions of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, during his exile from Mecca
The Ansar were formed out of the remnants of the Indian Home Guard who were from East Bengal, which had become a part of Pakistan after the partition of India in 1947. The force was formed as the “East Pakistan Ansars” by the East Pakistan Ansars Act of 1948, and officially launched on 12 February 1948. The first director of the Ansar was James Buchanan, a British official appointed by the government of then-Chief Minister of East Bengal Khawaja Nazimuddin. The force was placed under the administration of the home ministry of the province of East Bengal (later known as East Pakistan).
The emphasis was on recruiting in border areas, where Ansars were deployed to interdict smuggling and prevent emigrants from taking valuables out of the country illegally. The force grew quickly. By early 1949 there were 588,000 Ansars. According to historian Willem van Schendel, the Ansars “soon earned a reputation for intimidation and hooliganism, especially with regard to the non-Muslim inhabitants of East Pakistan.” During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the Ansar were deployed to the border areas along with the East Pakistan Rifles to support the Pakistani army.
Bangladesh Liberation War
During the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, bulk of the Ansar joined the Mukti Bahini guerrillas to fight against the Pakistani army. 12 Ansar members presented guard of honour to the Bangladesh government in exile at Mujibnagar on 17 April 1971. As a result, the Ansars were disbanded by the Pakistani government.
Raising of Ansar battalions
In 1976, 20 Battalions of Ansar were raised in line with the Armed Police Battalions to augment the strength of the security forces. At present, there are 36 Male and two Female Ansar Battalions deployed all over the country. Battalion Ansars are mainly deployed in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs) for Counter Insurgency Operations (CIO) and south-western region of the country for Counter Terrorism Operations.