Bangladesh charges 824 for 2009 BDR mutiny

Bangladesh Monday charged 824 people, most of them BDR personnel, for the 2009 bloody mutiny.

Updated: Jul 12, 2010, 20:14 PM IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh Monday charged 824
people, most of them BDR personnel, for the 2009 bloody mutiny
in which 57 Army officers, including the organisation chief
Major General Shakil Ahmed, were massacred.

The charges ranged from murder, conspiracy, looting
military arsenals and aiding and abetting mutiny, officials
said, adding that the trial would take one year to complete.

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) today
submitted the chargesheet against 801 border guards and 23
civilians in the February 25-26 mutiny in Peelkhana that led
to the death of 74 people, including 57 Army officers.

CID Special Superintendent Abdul Kahar Akand, also the
investigation officer (IO) of the case, submitted the
chargesheet before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate`s court,
Dhaka, the Star Online said.

Former Bangladesh Nationalist Party lawmaker
Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu and Awami League leader Torab Ali were
also accused as the mastermind of the 33-hour mutiny.

All of the accused, who are being tried in
Bangladesh`s civil courts, have been charged with murder and
could face the death penalty, a top official said.

A total of 2,307 were arrested so far in this
connection. Of them, 2,282 were taken on remand and 543 have
given confessional statements, the report said.

Meanwhile, the government today approved the draft
Border Guards Bangladesh Act 2010, which sets death as the
maximum penalty for mutiny.

In November last year, Bangladesh set up six "special
courts" headed by its then director general Major General
Mainul Islam to try the soldiers linked to the February 25-26
mutiny, just two months after the installation of the new
government following the landmark December 29, 2008
Parliamentary Polls.

The government had decided to try the suspected
massacre culprits under the fast track `Speedy Trial Tribunal’
and others who extended support to the mutiny but did not take
part in the killings under the BDR Act.

The Speedy Trial Tribunal will try the suspects under
Civil Penal Code, which prescribed capital punishment for
offences like murder, while the BDR Act suggested the maximum
seven years of imprisonment for breaching discipline in
command chain or major service irregularities.

An estimated 3,500 soldiers, who joined the mutiny as
it spread to some 40 border posts across the country, are being
tried in special military courts, which were set up by the
BDR, on lesser charges.

Over 200 border guards so far have already been jailed
for various terms under the BDR Act in six special courts
headed by the chief of the organisation.

PTI