BDR mutiny could have implications on border: India’s former envoy

February 25th, 2009 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) The mutiny by the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) Wednesday is not only a major intelligence failure but its denouement must be closely watched by India as it could impact the internal stability of the country and have implications along the India-Bangladesh border, says a former envoy to Dhaka.
The mutiny at the sprawling 200-acre BDR headquarters complex left at least four people dead and scores injured in the heart of Dhaka.

“How this mutiny pans out could not only have repercussions for internal stability but also how civilian-military relations will be impacted,” said Veena Sikri, a former high commissioner to Bangladesh.

“What is equally important is how it will affect patrolling along the 4,000-km long border with India. Will the army replace the BDR? These are questions which must be worrying the security establishment,” Sikri said.

“Also interesting is how nobody within the establishment knew of this planned mutiny.”

After several hours of fierce battles with the army, the rebellious BDR troopers agreed to lay down arms following talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“I think Sheikh Hasina has handled the situation impressively with a hands-on approach and is willing to listen to their grievances,” Sikri said.

“It is a very serious situation and needs to be watched carefully. For India, the uppermost worry will be what next on border patrolling. According to an inter-governmental agreement it was decided that only paramilitaries will man the border,” she pointed out.

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