Border Guards Bangladesh

Border Guards Bangladesh
Active1795 - present
TypeBorder Guards
Anniversaries26 March
EngagementsFirst World War, Second World War, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Bangladesh Liberation War
Decorations1. Bir Shreshtha 2. Bir Uttam 3. Bir Bikram 4. Bir Pratik
DGMajor General Rafiqul Islam
DDGBrigadier General
Director(Ops & Trg)Colonel

Border Guards 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 Guards 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.

The BGB began its journey in 1795 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”.

The Ramgarh Local Battalion was renamed the as the Frontier Guards and remained so for thirty years.

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.

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.

After the partition of 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 it's 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.

After the emergence of Bangladesh, the East Pakistan Rifles was re-named the Bangladesh Rifles in 1972.

  • Border Guards Bangladesh (2009–onward): From 2009 Bangladesh Rifles had gone through some fundamental changes. Nowadays it is known as the Border Guards Bangladesh.

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 Assistant Director (D.A.D.) which is equivalent to the rank of Colonel in the 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, seconded from the Bangladesh Army.


Type 92Semi-automatic pistol9mm ChinaStandard issue sidearm.
Type 54Semi-automatic pistol7.62mm ChinaChinese version of Soviet Tokarev TT-33 in service with all branches of armed, para-military and law enforcement services.
BD-08Assault rifle7.62mm BangladeshProduced under license by BOF.
M16A4Assault rifle5.56mm United StatesWith M203 grenade launcher.
Type 85Sniper rifle7.62mm China
BD-08Light machine gun7.62mm BangladeshProduced under license by BOF.
Bren GunLight machine gun7.62mm United Kingdom
Rheinmetall MG 3General purpose machine gun7.62mm Germany
Type 63-1Mortar60 mm ChinaBeing replaced by Type 93.
M 29A1Mortar81mm United States
Otokar CobraLAV24 TurkeyA 4x4 wheeled LAV. 17 Received in 2008. 7 are in use with Bangladesh Police since 2007.
BGB Shah JalalCoastal Patrol Craft1 JapanAkagi class.

February 2009 Mutiny

On 25 February 2009, the regular BDR soldiers mutinied against the senior officials, 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 by 26 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 border guards’ headquarters in the capital Dhaka.

Following the mutiny the Bangladesh Rifles were reorganised and renamed as the Border Guard Bangladesh. As of June 2010 several thousand former members of the force remained under arrest facing trial and possible execution. At least 48 border guards were reported to have died in custody

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