95 Bangla border guards jailed for 2009 mutiny

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Dhaka, Feb 5 (PTI) Ninety-five border guards weretoday sentenced to jail terms for a maximum of seven years forrevolting in Bangladesh''s southeastern Rangamati district aspart of the bloody 2009 mutiny that killed 57 army officers,including Major General Shakil Ahmed, the then chief of theparamilitary force.

A Special Court-15, headed by Col Zahedur Rahman,in separate verdicts sentenced ninety-five jawans of 9 and 18rifles battalions of Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) for jailterms ranging from four months to seven years for theirinvolvement in mutiny in Rangamati.

The Court also fined each of the convicts Taka 100.

Seventy-four of the total 95 convicts were from the 9Rifles Battalion while 21 were from the 18 Rifles Battalion,Star online reported today.

The BGB men revolved against their officers at thebattalion headquarters on February 26, 2009, looted firearmsfrom the armoury and attacked the residences of the thencommander and other officers, the report said.

Last week, the government was granted more time by thecourt to probe the bloody mutiny that killed 74 people as itfixed March 3 for indictment hearing against the "coresuspects".

Metropolitan Sessions Judge Mohammad Zohurul Haquelast month took cognizance charges against 800 out of 824suspected core culprits in the February 25-26 carnage insidethe Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), now renamed as Border GuardsBangladesh (BGB), headquarters at Pilkhana in Dhaka.

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in July lastyear formally charged 801 BDR soldiers and 23 civilians,including former BNP lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu.

In line with a Supreme Court directive, the governmentearlier decided that the BDR soldiers who were directly linkedto the killings, lootings and arsons would be tried in aSpeedy Trial Tribunal under the civil Penal Code.

The trial of several thousand rebel soldiers wasunderway in 11 special BDR courts on ordinary mutiny chargesunder the BDR Act, which prescribed a maximum seven years ofimprisonment. Several hundred of them were already jailedunder the process.

On February 1, 172 border guards received upto sevenyears of rigorous imprisonment for their involvement in themutiny in Dhaka and northeastern Sylhet.

Twenty-three jawans of 40 Rifles Battalion weresentenced to jail terms up to six years on January 16 forrevolting in Phulbari sub-division of Dinajpur district.

Special Court-15 jailed 46 border guards on January 13to prison terms ranging from four months to seven years forthe rebellion in Matiranga sub-division in Chittagong''sKhagrachhari district. PTI

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