Bangladesh will be observing the ninth anniversary of tragic BDR mutiny today.
On February 25-26, 2009, a group of relegated members of the then Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) killed 74 people including 57 army officers at the Pilkhana headquarters of the paramilitary force.
The trial court in its November 5, 2013 verdict, ordered death sentences for 152 of the accused while another 423 were sentenced to different terms. Subsequently, on November 27 last year, the High Court upheld the death sentence for 139 convicts. It also commuted the death sentence of eight convicts to life imprisonment and acquitted four others. It upheld life sentences for 146 out of 160 convicts.
During the appeal proceedings, two convicts died in the prison. Some 12 convicts were acquitted.
The High Court ordered life sentences for 31 out of 69 defendants who had been acquitted by the trial court. It also sentenced four convicts to seven years in jail and upheld the acquittal order of 34 defendants.
The trial court in its verdict sentenced 256 among 850 defendants to various terms of punishment. Of them, the HC ordered 10 years’ imprisonment to 182 convicts, seven years’ jail term to eight convicts and three-year prison terms to four convicts while it acquitted 29 convicts.
Many others were handed down various punishments including termination of jobs and departmental action.
After the carnage, the paramilitary force went through a number of changes and reforms. The government renamed BDR to Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).
Speaking to journalists earlier this month, BGB Director General Maj Gen Abul Hossain said the force had resolved the between officers and jawans.
“When people get to express what they feel, there is no longer any need for mutiny. We are making conscious efforts to meet the demands of the jawans. The relations between officers and jawans is better than ever before,” he said.
To mark the day, the BGB will organize doa and milad mahfil at all regions, sectors, institutions, and units including the Pilkhana headquarters.
The representatives of the president and prime minister, the home minister, chiefs of three armed forces, home secretary, and BGB director general will lay floral tributes at the Banani military graveyard around 9am today.