Dhaka: Bangladesh is expected to complete
in nine months time the trial of the over 4,000 "ordinary mutineers" charged in the 2009 BDR rebellion, with the paramilitary force set to hold additional special courts for
The mutineers, who joined the rebellion but are not
charged in the killings of the 57 army officers or for other
gruesome offences are being tried under the relatively lenient
BDR Act which prescribes the highest seven years of
imprisonment for command violations.
"From now on BDR directors and (army colonel level)
sector commanders will also head the special courts alongside
our director general... to intensify the trial of the ordinary
mutineers," under the recently amended Bangladesh Rifles
ordinance, deputy director general of the border force
Brigadier General M Ubaidul Haque told a news conference.
He added that it could be assumed that the trial of
the BDR mutinies in units outside Dhaka could be completed in
next 6-9 months "but the process to try the suspects in units
based in Pilkhana may take a longer period since the number of
accused there is high and nature of offenses was complicated".
The the massacre culprits, however, are set to be
tried under the tough Speedy Trial Tribunal under civil Penal
Code that suggests the highest death penalty under an earlier
The BDR announcement came two weeks after the Criminal
Investigation Department (CID) of police submitted charge
sheet against 824 people, including 23 civilians, for their
role in killing 74 people including 57 military officials,
torturing superiors and their family members, holding them
hostage and looting at their houses at Pilkhana during the two
days of mutiny.
A BDR statement yesterday said the recent amendment to
the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Order law authorised director
level officers of the border force to chair paramilitary
Special Courts which were earlier needed to be headed by the
director generals alone to try the ordinary mutineers.
The statement said during the February 25-26, 2009
carnage at the BDR`s Pilkhana headquarters, mutiny broke out
at 60 places outside Dhaka where the rebels took up weapons
It said only seven units or sub-units across the
country had remained out of the purview of the rebellion.
A total of 4,186 BDR men under 60 units are accused in
the cases and the paramilitary courts have so far handed down
imprisonments of various terms upto seven years to 201
ordinary rebels in five cases, even as 19 cases are underway.
The trials of 41 more cases filed in this connection
are yet to be started, he added.