Malicious rumours led to BDR carnage: Chief

Last Updated: Monday, May 10, 2010 - 00:10

Dhaka: The chief of Bangladesh`s border
guards Sunday said the bloody mutiny last year that killed 74
people, including its director general Major General Shakil
Ahmed, was not a "pre-planned massacre".

Major General Mainul Islam said it was "malicious
rumours spread by a section of mutineers" that led to the
February 2008 carnage.

"Rather, malicious rumours spread by a section of
mutineers and some other over enthusiastic people caused the
carnage, claiming lives of 57 army officers," Islam said.

Islam, who is going back to the Bangladesh Army as
the chief of general staff after serving on deputation for
more than a year, said during the BDR’s own investigations it
was found that the renegade soldiers were disorganised.

When "the first gunfire was shot by a rebel soldier,
another fellow renegade soldier cried out saying this was not
supposed to be," he said.

Islam said many SMS messages were sent out from the
BDR’s Pilkhana headquarters, the scene of the massacre, and
were exchanged between the mutineers to spread hatred against
the army officers.

The government has appointed Major General Rafiqul
Islam as his successor in the BDR.

Earlier, interacting with mediapersons at his office,
Islam said the "over enthusiastic people spread rumour and
misleading allegations to create chaos". "It was one sided but
sounded sweet. People have listened to it with interest, he
told reporters.

Asked if the mutiny was provoked from outside or aided
by militants, Islam said it is not possible to comment on the
issue as the matter was beyond the terms of reference of the
BDR’s court of inquiry.

"The CID (Criminal Investigation Department of police)
is investigating it," said Islam, who was head of the six
special paramilitary courts to try mutineers under the BDR
Act.

Islam termed the post-BDR mutiny as a "warlike
situation" but said the frontier force was now reorganised
with restoration of chain of command, massive reforms and the
ongoing trial of the mutineers.

Replying to another question on frequent border
tensions, the outgoing BDR chief said such unrest were often
created in a deliberate manner as "some people get financial
benefit when tension escalated on the borders".

Islam’s comments on the mutiny comes soon after a
senior BDR official said betrayal by the frontier force’s
intelligence wing soldiers paved the way for the carnage.

"Most of the intelligence wing soldiers were tipped
off against a possible mutiny, but instead of performing their
tasks they instigated and led the rebellion and killed the
officers," Lieutenant Colonel Atiquazzaman, the incumbent
Rifles Security Unit (RSU) chief, told newsmen recently.

He said the members of his unit distributed
provocative leaflets among the mutineers.

The rebellious troopers had claimed that a sense of
"deprivation" had prompted them to stage the mutiny even as
they demanded the border force should be freed from "military
domination".

The report of a high-powered government probe
committee earlier said a sense of deprivation among the BDR
soldiers had sparked the mutiny.

However, it bluntly admitted "without hesitation
that the real causes and objectives of the gruesome incident
could not be ascertained clearly and it required further
investigations.

On November 15, the government formed the six special
courts, including two in Dhaka, to try some 3,500 BDR
personnel accused in some 40 cases around the country.

Nearly 1,000 guards, who are facing serious charges of
murder and arson during the mutiny, are still being probed and
will be tried separately.

Apart from the 57 army officers, the mutineers killed
eight civilians, eight fellow BDR soldiers and an army man in
the two-day rebellion.

PTI




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