REAL CAUSE OF BDR MUTINY STILL A MYSTERY
Julfikar Ali Manik
The killing of so many army officials was not a rational consequence of the grievances that had piled up among the BDR soldiers
Five years have passed, several probes have been completed and verdict has been delivered in a carnage case, but the mystery behind the BDR mutiny and the brutal killings inside Pilkhana is yet to be unearthed.
The judge of a trial court that delivered verdict in the carnage case, said in his judgment that the killing of so many army officials was not a rational consequence of the grievances that had piled up among the BDR soldiers.
During the bloody mutiny in the force’s Pilkhana headquarters on February 25-26, 2009, BDR (now BGB) rebels killed 57 army officers and 17 civilians.
The mutineers tried to hide the dead bodies by burying them in mass graves inside Pilkhana and throwing some others in the sewerage lines. They also brutally tortured army officers and their families and ransacked their houses and properties. Those murdered included the force’s the then director general and this wife.
According to a home ministry probe committee formed after the mutiny, further investigation was required because the “real cause and motive behind the barbaric incident could not be established beyond doubt.”
However, the report that the committee placed identified “the negative attitude of the general BDR members towards the army officers and their discontent over unfulfilled demands” as the primary causes of the mutiny.
“An analysis of the demands gives the impression that such small demands cannot be the main cause of such a heinous incident. These points have been used to influence the general BDR soldiers. The main conspirators may have used these causes to instigate the incident; they themselves worked from behind the curtains to destabilise the nation,” the report said.
However, no initiative to “unearth the real reason behind the killing” has been visible since that report came out in 2009.
When contacted, State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan, who took over last month, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that he could not comment on the matter because he was yet to examine the reports filed in connection with the mutiny.
On November 5 last year, a Dhaka court handed down death sentences to 152 people, including a civilian, and various jail terms to hundreds of BDR personnel in the carnage case.
Although Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Third Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court of Dhaka discussed many possible reasons behind the mutiny and the killings, he could not come to any conclusion in this regard.
The judgment said: “Some grievances piled up among the BDR soldiers based on some logical/illogical allegations and demands. But killing of so many army officers did not match with their grievances.”
“It seems that a quarter took the opportunity to serve their narrow interests by destroying the overall security and stability of the country using the demands of BDR rebels,” the judge observed.
According to the judgment, there were five possible reasons that could have led to the mutiny: those were military and security, diplomacy, economy, politics and society.
Just like the judge and the probe committee, the families of the victims are also still in the dark about the reasons behind the bloody mutiny.
After the pronouncement of verdict in the carnage case, some family members, including the widows, of the slain army officers expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that the verdict failed to throw any light on the “real cause.”
February 25, 2014