Parliamentary probe demanded into Bangladesh mutiny

May 29th, 2009 - 11:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, May 29 (DPA) The mainstream opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Friday demanded a parliamentary probe into the February mutiny against commanders at the Dhaka headquarters of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) border guards.
The party also rejected a government inquiry report, part of which was made public Wednesday after more than two months of investigation, saying that the government failed to unearth the mastermind behind the rebellion.

“The so-called investigation report is nothing but a big mockery,” Khandaker Delwar Hossain, secretary general of the BNP, said at a press conference on the report.

“It was frustrating. We strongly protest and condemn such a partial report,” he said, demanding a parliamentary probe by a committee comprising lawmakers from parties across the spectrum.

The government launched three investigations - by the army, the home ministry and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police - into the 33-hour mutiny on Feb 26 that left as many as 75 people, including 57 army officers, dead.

The army probe committee submitted its report to the chief of the forces earlier in the month but was not made public while the home ministry committee headed by a retired bureaucrat made the report partially public.

The home ministry report did not rule out external links with the rebellion, suggesting a further probe. It cited pent-up anger over pay discrimination between the troopers and the officers as one of the reasons behind the mutiny.

The CID investigation was still on to bring the perpetrators to justice, preferably under the Army Act.

The BNP also demanded making the army probe report public Earlier BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister, termed the report unacceptable, saying the government has published that portion of the report that it found satisfactory.

She had asked the government to publish full text of the report.

The investigators arrested more than 3,000 BDR troopers for their alleged involvement in the February carnage.

Most of them were remanded in custody for weeks for interrogation. More than 20 troopers reportedly died in custody after the authorities started probing into the rebellion in early March.

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