23 B`deshi border guards jailed for 2009 bloody mutiny

A special Bangladeshi court jailed 23 border guards for a maximum of seven years for revolting in northern Dinajpur district as part of the 2009 bloody mutiny that killed 74 people, including 57 army officers.

Dhaka: A special Bangladeshi court on Sunday
jailed 23 border guards for a maximum of seven years for
revolting in northern Dinajpur district as part of the 2009
bloody mutiny that killed 74 people, including 57 army
officers.

Twenty-three jawans of Border Guard Bangladesh`s 40
Rifles Battalion were sentenced to jail terms up to six years
by the Special Court-13 for their involvement in the February
25-26, 2009 mutiny in Phulbari sub-division of Dinajpur
district, which is 263.72 kilometres from the capital, The
Daily Star newspaper said today.

The Special Court-13, headed by Dinajpur Sector
Commander Col Saleh Ahmed, also fined the guilty border guards
Taka 100 each.

The BDR has been renamed as Border Guard Bangladesh
(BGB) with a new combat uniform as part of a reform process.

The plaintiff, in his complaint, alleged that the
guards looted arms from armoury and revolted against their
officers on February 25 and 26, expressing solidarity with the
mutineers at the Pilkhana Headquarters in the capital, the
report said.

The court delivered the verdict in the afternoon, it
said.

On January 13, Special Court-15 had jailed 46 border
guards to jail terms ranging from four months to seven years
for their involvement in the mutiny in Matiranga sub-division
in Chittagong`s Khagrachhari district.

At least 74 people, including the then BDR chief Major
General Shakil Ahmed was killed in the mutiny at Peelkhana in
the capital.

The trial of several thousand rebel soldiers is
underway in 11 special BDR courts on ordinary mutiny charges
under the BDR Act, which prescribe a maximum imprisonment of
seven years for breaching command or indiscipline.

Several hundred soldiers have already been jailed
under the process.

A BDR official familiar with the process said the
trial of rebels in 10 of out of 52 units have so far been
completed. He said 12 of the units were based in Pilkhana at
the time of the rebellion while the rest were outside Dhaka
where they revolted.

In line with a Supreme Court directive, the government
had earlier decided that the BDR soldiers who were directly
linked to the killings, lootings and arson in Dhaka would be
tried in a Speedy Trial Tribunal under the civil penal code.

In 2009, Bangladesh set up six "special courts" to try
the rebellious soldiers for the bloody mutiny by the
paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR).

The rebellious soldiers had claimed that a sense of
"deprivation" had prompted them to stage the mutiny even as
they demanded the border force should be freed from "military
domination".

PTI