Bangladesh court indicts 430 for murder in mutiny

The revolt over pay and other issues broke out at border guard headquarters in Bangladesh in 2009.

Dhaka: A court in Bangladesh`s capital on Wednesday indicted 430 people for serious crimes such as murder and arson related to the 2009 mutiny among border guards.

The revolt over pay and other issues broke out at border guard headquarters and spread around the country. Most of the 74 people killed were commanding officers from the military.

Metropolitan Sessions Judge Zahurul Haque read out charges of serious crimes against 430 suspects on Wednesday. More than 800 people in all were named as suspects, and the court meets on July 27 to decide about the others before starting the main phase of the trial.

The suspects appeared before the court in shackles on Wednesday. The judge asked the indicted suspects if they would admit their involvement but they pleaded not guilty.

Two politicians were among those indicted, one from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia and another from incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina`s Awami League. Police alleged the two politicians aided the border guards in the killings and other crimes.

Separate courts have been handling mutiny cases and have sentenced hundreds of mutineers to prison terms of up to seven years.

The mutiny was a challenge for the government of Prime Minister Sheikh as it took place just two months after the influential military had handed power over to an elected government.

The military has been angry with Hasina`s handling of the mutiny, which ended in negotiations and offers of amnesty for mutiny leaders.

But the government rescinded the amnesty offers when dozens of bodies were found dumped in shallow graves and sewers.

Hasina has promised justice for the victims` families.

Bureau Report

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