Some 850 people were accused over the murder and arson at the force’s Pilkhana headquarters on February 25-26, 2009
A file photo of two grief-stricken army officers carrying the coffin of their colleague
The long-awaited verdict in the BDR carnage case is expected to be delivered today, 56 months after the bloody mutiny in the country’s border security force. Some 850 people were accused over the murder and arson at the force’s Pilkhana headquarters on February 25-26, 2009. Four of the accused have died in jail during the trial while 20 more accused are still on the run and 13 have been freed on bail. The remaining 813 accused are now in jail. The 33-hour mutiny that broke out around 9am on February 25 left 74 people including the then director general of the paramilitary force killed. The victims include 57 top- and mid-ranking army officers who were posted to the force on deputation, and a number of civilians. After completion of the legal arguments by both prosecution and defence, Judge Dr Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman of the Third Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court of Dhaka fixed October 30 for verdict. But it was deferred. The trial of the carnage case began in August 2011. Considering the number of accused and security of the court, the government built a special one-storey tin-shed building at Bakshi Bazar near the Dhaka Central Jail. After the mutiny, the paramilitary force was renamed as Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) from Bangladesh Rifles (BDR). Following the bloodbath, a criminal case was filed with Lalbagh police station which was later transferred to the New Market police. After more than one year’s investigation, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in 2010 pressed charges against 824 persons. Among them, 801 were BDR soldiers and 23 civilians including former BNP lawmaker Nasir Uddin Ahmed Pintu and Awami League ward-level leader Torab Ali. Both of them are in prison since their arrests after the mutiny. The CID later submitted a supplementary charge sheet to include 26 more accused in the carnage case. Twenty-five of them were former BDR soldiers. With this, the total number of accused reached to 850. Moreover, 57 mutiny cases were also filed with different police stations against 6,046 BDR mutineers in Pilkhana and different battalions across the country. They were tried as per the law of the paramilitary force. On October 20 last year, 11 such special courts including six in Dhaka completed the trials and awarded 5,926 rebels sentence to various jail terms and acquitted 115. Five others were dropped from the mutiny charges.
Source: Dhaka Tribune