Bangla observes 2nd anniversary of 2009 paramilitary tragedy

Anisur RahmanDhaka, Feb 25 (PTI) Bangladesh today revisited thegrim memories of a bloody paramilitary mutiny, with specialprayers and candle light vigils marking the second anniversaryof the rebellion that had claimed 74 lives, including of 57army officers.

President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister SheikhHasina paid rich tributes to the slain army officers of theparamilitary force and hundreds of people joined acandle-light vigil at the central Shaheed Minar observingsilence in memory of the victims.

The government functionaries, including seniorministers, joined thousands in paying tributes and offeredprayers at the Banani military graveyard, where the slainofficers were laid to rest.

The military paid its homage by offering ceremonialsalutes at the graveyard and staging special prayers at thecantonment barracks.

The frontier force, which was renamed last month asBorder Guards Bangladesh (BGB), observed the day with similarprogrammes at their Pilkhana headquarters, the scene of thecarnage, and all units across the country.

A Dhaka court is set to indict some 800 "coresuspects" of the February 25-26, 2009 massacre next monthunder the civil penal code and the frontier force iswitnessing a massive reconstruction campaign with its name,laws, uniform and monogram also changed.

All these initiatives were aimed at erasing the stigmaof the mutiny in which 74 people, including 57 army officersserving the paramilitary force were killed.

The rebellious soldiers at that time had claimed thata sense of "deprivation" had prompted them to stage the mutinyand demanded that the frontier force should be freed from"military domination".

The mutineers also killed eight civilians, eightfellow BDR soldiers and an army soldier apart from the 57military officers.

A government committee report said a certain quarterstaged the mutiny taking advantage of the sense of deprivationof the ordinary BDR soldiers but only a few BDR men knew aboutthe plot to kill so many people.

The report said that "the real causes and objectivesof the gruesome incident could not be ascertained clearly andit requires further investigations".

In line with a Supreme Court directive, the governmentdecided that the BDR soldiers who were directly linked to thekillings, lootings and arson at Pilkhana headquarters would betried in a Speedy Trial Tribunal under the civil penal code.

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