B’desh renames mutiny-infested paramilitary border force

B`desh renamed its paramilitary frontier force as Border Guard of Bangladesh as it changed its laws, uniform and monogram under a massive reconstruction campaign.

Last Updated: Jan 23, 2011, 15:46 PM IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh on Sunday renamed its
paramilitary frontier force as Border Guard of Bangladesh
(BGB) as it changed its laws, uniform and monogram under a
massive reconstruction campaign, nearly two years after it was
rocked by a bloody mutiny that claimed 74 lives.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the new flag of the
force during a brief ceremony at the frontier force`s Pilkhana
headquarters in the capital Dhaka, the scene of the February
25-26 2009, carnage, while formally renaming Bangladesh Rifles
(BDR) as Boarder Guard of Bangladesh (BGB).

The BGB troops offered Hasina an honour guard as she
asked them to be imbued with a renewed spirit of protecting
the country`s frontier maintaining discipline and rules to
evade possible of repetition of the 2009 episode.

"Every force of the country will have to abide by its
laws to evade any unfortunate event in future ... I believe
you clearly understand from the core of your heart what damage
could be caused if it is violated," she told the ceremony
joined by several senior government leaders and civil and
military officials.

Hasina vowed that the culprits of the 2009 rebellion
which killed 74 people, including 57 army officers serving the
paramilitary force on deputation, would be brought to justice
so none dared to stage any such incident in the future.

The frontier force often described as "first line of
defence" recently introduced a new law stipulating death for
mutiny.

The development came as President Zillur Rahman last
month endorsed a parliamentary bill suggesting the frontier
force`s reconstruction under a government plan to restructure
it to help overcome the carnage stigma.

The Border Guard Bangladesh Act 2010 set death as the
maximum penalty for mutiny as the previous BDR Act had only
suggested the highest seven years of imprisonment for ordinary
disobedience or breach of command in the paramilitary force.

The qualified soldiers would also be given a chance to
join army as commissioned officers.

In line with the reforms, army officers would continue to
lead the paramilitary border guards on deputation and BGB
would have four regional headquarters to be headed by an army
brigadier general. Officers from navy and air force too would
now be posted in the frontier force on deputation.

A government committee has report said a certain quarter
staged the mutiny using a sense of deprivation among ordinary
BDR soldiers but only a few of them knew of the killing plot.

It admitted that "the real causes and objectives of the
gruesome incident could not be ascertained clearly."

Hundreds of BDR soldiers are in custody as their trial is
underway in 11 special paramilitary courts on charges of
violating the command chain. The "core culprits" directly
linked to the killings, looting and arson would be tried in a
fast track tribunal in Dhaka.

PTI