Evidence proves plots behind BDR rebellion in Bangladesh

Bangladesh authorities claimed that they had more evidence to prove that there was a plot behind the last year`s bloody mutiny at the BDR headquarters that left 74 people dead, mostly army officers.

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2010, 18:58 PM IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh authorities on Wednesday claimed
that they had more evidence to prove that there was a plot
behind the last year`s bloody mutiny at the BDR headquarters
here that left 74 people dead, mostly army officers.

"We now have more evidence proving a plot behind the
mutiny," prosecutor Major Mokaid Mohamad Ali told a press
briefing as the paramilitary border force exposed 42 more
suspected rebels to trial in western frontier district of
Jessore on rebellion charges.

Citing an example he said a week ahead of the mutiny
BDR soldier Mohammad Khairul Islam had suddenly asked his
superior Major Rawshan Firoz of the paramilitary force`s
Record Wing "Sir, what is the punishment of mutiny in BDR?"

""In reply Firoz said the mutineers" would face "death
penalty" when the soldier said "No, sir, under the BDR Act the
highest punishment is seven years of imprisonment". This
proves there was a plan behind the (February 25-26, 2009)
rebellion," Ali said.

The prosecutor said this yesterday when a paramilitary
court here indicted 337 suspected BDR mutineers for their
alleged role rebellion that saw the killing 74 people
including 57 military officers serving on deputation in the
border force.

Officials said nearly 2,000 soldiers were so far
faced with trial in Dhaka and different frontier districts and
more others were likely to be charged to be tried in phases in
the 11 paramilitary courts in frontier districts.

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police
in July this year formally charged 801 BDR soldiers and 23
civilians for the carnage as the massacre culprits to be
exposed to the Speedy Trial Tribunal after months of
investigations.

The suspects were charged with offences including
attempt to murder, injuring the officers with dangerous
weapons, holding officers and their families` hostage, looting
the armoury, using firearms without authority and destroying
evidence of murders by hiding bodies. "The rebel soldiers mowed their officers down in
cold blood, using some 2,500 weapons which they had looted
from the BDR armoury," chief investigator of criminal
investigation department (CID) Abdul Kahhar Akand said told
newsmen after submitting the charge sheet.

But, former BDR chief Major General Mainul Islam, who
took over the charge of the paramilitary force after the
rebellion, earlier said their investigations did not suggest
that the killings were "pre-planned" despite a plot behind the
mutiny.

He added that during the BDR`s own investigations it
was found that the renegade soldiers were disorganised and
when "the first gunfire was shot by a rebel soldier, another
fellow renegade soldier cried out saying this was not supposed
to be".

"Rather malicious rumours spread by a section of
mutineers and some other over enthusiastic people caused the
carnage, claiming lives of our 57 army officers, said Islam,
who now serves as the chief of general staff (CGS) of
Bangladesh army as a lieutenant general.

Investigators earlier said that initially 40 to 50
BDR men started the mutiny while most of the paramilitary
soldiers took up weapons "voluntarily or reluctantly" and
carried out the killings, destructions and lootings.

A high-powered government investigation committee
earlier had said the demands or grievances of the BDR
soldiers, which were initially thought to have sparked the
mutiny at the onset of the rebellion as claimed the masked
soldiers before the media, were found to be unacceptable to
the committee as reasons for staging the rebellion.

It said a certain quarter staged the mutiny using a
sense of deprivation of the ordinary BDR soldiers but only a
few BDR men knew about killing plot while several BDR soldiers
who apparently opposed the massacre and several civilians and
an army soldier were also killed during the mutiny beyond the
57 army officers.

The report, however, bluntly admitted the real causes
and objectives of the gruesome incident could not be
ascertained clearly and it requires further investigations".

PTI