23 B''deshi border guards jailed for 2009 bloody mutiny

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Dhaka, Jan 16 (PTI) A special Bangladeshi court todayjailed 23 border guards for a maximum of seven years forrevolting in northern Dinajpur district as part of the 2009bloody mutiny that killed 74 people, including 57 armyofficers.

Twenty-three jawans of Border Guard Bangladesh''s 40Rifles Battalion were sentenced to jail terms up to six yearsby the Special Court-13 for their involvement in the February25-26, 2009 mutiny in Phulbari sub-division of Dinajpurdistrict, which is 263.72 kilometres from the capital, TheDaily Star newspaper said today.

The Special Court-13, headed by Dinajpur SectorCommander Col Saleh Ahmed, also fined the guilty border guardsTaka 100 each.

The BDR has been renamed as Border Guard Bangladesh(BGB) with a new combat uniform as part of a reform process.

The plaintiff, in his complaint, alleged that theguards looted arms from armoury and revolted against theirofficers on February 25 and 26, expressing solidarity with themutineers at the Pilkhana Headquarters in the capital, thereport said.

The court delivered the verdict in the afternoon, itsaid.

On January 13, Special Court-15 had jailed 46 borderguards to jail terms ranging from four months to seven yearsfor their involvement in the mutiny in Matiranga sub-divisionin Chittagong''s Khagrachhari district.

At least 74 people, including the then BDR chief MajorGeneral Shakil Ahmed was killed in the mutiny at Peelkhana inthe capital.

The trial of several thousand rebel soldiers isunderway in 11 special BDR courts on ordinary mutiny chargesunder the BDR Act, which prescribe a maximum imprisonment ofseven years for breaching command or indiscipline.

Several hundred soldiers have already been jailedunder the process.

A BDR official familiar with the process said thetrial of rebels in 10 of out of 52 units have so far beencompleted. He said 12 of the units were based in Pilkhana atthe time of the rebellion while the rest were outside Dhakawhere they revolted.

In line with a Supreme Court directive, the governmenthad earlier decided that the BDR soldiers who were directlylinked to the killings, lootings and arson in Dhaka would betried in a Speedy Trial Tribunal under the civil penal code.

In 2009, Bangladesh set up six "special courts" to trythe rebellious soldiers for the bloody mutiny by theparamilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR).

The rebellious soldiers had claimed that a sense of"deprivation" had prompted them to stage the mutiny even asthey demanded the border force should be freed from "militarydomination". PTI

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