`Govt probing Khaleda Zia`s hiding during 2009 BDR mutiny`

Last Updated: Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 23:53

Dhaka: The government is probing the
"hiding" of main opposition leader Khaleda Zia during the 2009
bloody mutiny in which 74 people, including 57 army officers,
were massacred by Bangladeshi border guard BDR, a senior
leader of the ruling Awamil League party said on Thursday.

Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Awami League`s joint general
secretary, said the government is investigating into Zia`s
alleged "hiding" for three days during the last year`s BDR
mutiny.
"Investigation is being carried out on where she went
ahead of the BDR carnage," he was quoted as saying by The
Daily Star newspaper.

Hanif, also a special assistant to Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina, said it is mysterious why she went into hiding
from her cantonment house in a black windowed car.

He, however, refused to elaborate on the process of
the investigation.

The probe is likely to spark an outcry from the BNP,
amid accusation that the trial is being used to target the
leaders of the opposition parties.

On July 12, Bangladesh charged 824 people, most of
them BDR personnel, for the bloody mutiny in which the
organisation chief Major General Shakil Ahmed was massacred.

The charges against 801 BDR personnel and 23 civilians
ranged from murder, conspiracy, looting military arsenals and
aiding and abetting mutiny, chief investigator Abdul Kahar
Akand said, indicating that the trial would take a year to
complete.
The massacre, which shook the newly-installed Hasina
government, took place when the chief of the BDR and other
military officers were addressing troops in Peelkhana
headquarters in the capital.

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

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 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.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 23:53

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