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BGB DG: Border force ready to prevent incidents like 2009 mutiny

  • Published at 04:47 pm February 25th, 2020
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File photo: BGB Director General Maj Gen Md Shafeenul Islam speaks to reporters during his visit to Saint Martin’s Island on Wednesday, September 25, 2019Dhaka Tribune

Following the mutiny, the paramilitary force was renamed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB)

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Director General (DG) Md Shafeenul Islam has said the border force is now alert to thwart any incident like the 2009 BDR mutiny, which killed 74 people, including 57 deputed army officers.

“Every officer and soldier has been working to this end so that an incident like that [2009 BDR mutiny] never takes place in future," he said while talking to reporters after paying homage to those who were killed in the mutiny, at the Military Graveyard in Dhaka's Banani on Tuesday.

When asked over the allegations of failure of intelligence services to predict such mutiny, he said: "BGB has its own intelligence network. The network has been reformed and its activities have spread even to the district level."

"If there were any lacking in this regard in the past, we have tried to overcome the shortcomings through reforms."

“The border force has turned around successfully by taking lessons from the incident,” he added.

On February 25, 2009, several hundred members of the then Bangladesh Rifles (now Border Guard Bangladesh) rose up in armed revolt at Darbar Hall during the three-day "BDR Week" inside the Pilkhana headquarters in Dhaka. The revolt killed 74 people, including 57 deputed army officers.

The mutiny finally ended the following day with the surrender of the firearms, ammunition and grenades through a negotiation between the government and the BDR rebels.

Following the mutiny, the paramilitary force was renamed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).

A total of 58 cases were filed -- one for serious crimes, including murder and looting, and the rest for mutiny, in connection with the incident.

On November 27, 2017, the High Court announced the verdict in the country's largest-ever killing case, sentencing 152 people to death and 423 others to different jail terms and acquitting 277.

The court, however, is yet to release the full text of the verdict.

Among the convicts, 262 mutineers were sentenced to different jail terms starting from three months to 19 years and 161 people, including late BNP leader Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu and local Awami League leader Torab Ali, were sentenced to life imprisonment.

On the other hand, a total of 5,926 BDR personnel were sentenced to different jail terms ranging from four months to seven years in the 57 mutiny cases.

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