Bangladesh border guard mutineers’ trial adjournedApril 27th, 2010 - 3:44 pm ICT by IANS
Dhaka, April 27 (IANS) Troopers of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) had “pre-planned” last year’s mutiny during which officers who had raised their hands were gunned down, a special court was told Tuesday.
A bunch of troopers Feb 25 last year demanded at gunpoint the surrender of officers who were at a meeting being held at Durbar Hall, the conference room at the BDR headquarters here.
As the officers obeyed, squatting with their hands raised, many of them were gunned down. Among them was the force commander, Major General Shakil Ahmed.
Seventy four people, including 57 officers of the Bangladesh Army, on deputation to the BDR, were killed during the February 25-26 mutiny last year. The rebellion took place over low wages and poor working conditions.
Holding court in the same Durbar Hall, Ahmed’s successor, Major General Mohammed Mainul Islam and two other officers, for the first time heard the charge-sheet against 675 mutineers.
All of them belong to the 44th battalion of the BDR that was stationed at the headquarters.
They were lined up in the court as charges were read out, before the trial was adjourned till November 1, reported Star Online, website of The Daily Star.
Twenty-seven of the suspected killers who were supposed to have led the mutiny were brought in civilian clothes, while the rest wore the BDR uniform.
While courts in other border towns have held trial and convicted 197 troopers so far, this is for the first time the suspected mutineers were produced in civil dress to face mutiny charges.
The prosecutor said that the accused troopers were involved in various offences, including hatching the plan at the Rose Garden at Pilkhana in 2008-09, executing the mutiny and devising the strategy of general amnesty from the prime minister.
“Deputy Assistant Director Nasir Uddin, who was kingpin of the mutiny, ordered to shoot eight to 10 officers outside the Durbar Hall after having the officers kneel down in a line and hands above their heads,” said the prosecutor.
Sepoy Salim Reza, said to be the mastermind of the mutiny, and Kajal, who opened fire on the officers, were present.
Sepoy Kajal of 44 Rifle Battalion accompanied Sepoy Moin of 13 Rifle Battalion when he entered the Durbar Hall to kill General Ahmed. Kajal fired a shot as a signal for the mutiny on the morning of Feb 25, 2009.
Tags: amnesty, bangladesh rifles, battalion, border guard, border towns, civilian clothes, daily star, deputation, deputy assistant director, force commander, gunpoint, kingpin, mutineers, mutiny, nasir, rose garden, seventy four, shakil ahmed, uddin, working conditions