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'Bangladesh army wanted to attack BDR HQ'
Anisur Rahman in Dhaka | March 01, 2009 13:45 IST
Last Updated: March 01, 2009 13:51 IST
The Bangladesh army was ready to storm the headquarters of the Bangladesh Rifles in Dhaka soon after the mutiny erupted, but heeded to Premier Sheikh Hasina's [Images] advice at the last minute to resolve the issue politically, a top officer has revealed.
"The Prime Minister directed that the crisis should be solved politically and it has been resolved in that manner," Brigadier General Mahmud Hossain, director of military intelligence, told a press conference in Dhaka on Saturday night.
The bloody two-day revolt by the renegade soldiers of the paramilitary BDR left at least 73 army officers and four civilians dead.
Terming it "possibly the worst massacre of army officers in Bangladesh's history", Brigadier Hossain said the anger among the armed forces was "very natural".
"However, the army is a disciplined force which can control its emotion", he said. Asked if retaliation by the army would have led to more bloodshed, army doctor Col Abdul Salam, who was also present at the press conference, said, "It's a difficult question but the restraint by the army was good".
Outraged over the killing of its officers during the mutiny by BDR soldiers, the Bangladesh army demanded "maximum" punishment for those involved in the massacre.
"Exemplary punishment of the culprits will cool our resentment. Our demand is that the investigation into the killings should be quickened and maximum punishment should be given to those persons responsible for them," Brig Hossain said.
He said the army has begun its own probe into the killings of its officers during the mutiny even as the investigation ordered by a government-constituted committee continues.