Stringent law in offing for Bangladesh border guards
Dhaka: A protest by two or more border guards could be termed a mutinous act under a legislation proposed for the force that is being revamped after hundreds of troopers took part in a rebellion in February last year, leaving 71 people dead.
Punishment up to death has been prescribed for those involved in such protests or attempts to protest, The Daily Star newspaper reported Monday.
The proposed law is likely to be placed in Parliament on Monday, the first day of its sixth session.
The government has moved to introduce the new law, repealing the existing one, to restructure the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and give a new name "Border Guard Bangladesh".
Death penalty is a new provision. The existing law provided for imprisonment up to seven years and it was amended as special tribunals conducted trials of hundreds of troopers who staged the mutiny on February 25-26 last year.
The troopers had stormed the Durbar Hall, the main conference room at Pilkhana, the BDR headquarters in the heart of the national capital.
After the force`s chief Major General Shakil Ahmed was gunned down, the troopers went on a killing spree.
The Daily Star reported that the bill says mutiny includes two or more people jointly disobeying a legal order of the authorities of the border force, armed forces and auxiliary force or challenging and resisting their authorities or expressing angst jointly to the authorities or making attempts to express it.
A senior BDR officer, however, said the new legislation would not prevent BDR troopers from expressing their problems and dissatisfaction if they have any. But they would not be allowed to do it collectively, or in a group, or in a procession.
The official said the BDR troopers now could speak about their problem at the monthly Darbar held at every unit. If it is a common problem one person can speak on behalf of all, he said.
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