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Six BDR men suspected of leading bloody Bangla mutiny
Anisur Rahman in Dhaka | March 01, 2009 20:37 IST
Six Bangladesh Rifles personnel were identified on Sunday by police as the ringleaders of the 33-hour mutiny that wiped out nearly the entire batch of army officers serving in the paramilitary force.
The police filed murder charges on Sunday against 1,000 members of BDR, initially suspecting six of them to have led the rebellion. "We accused them of killing the officers and their family members in a planned manner," an official at the
Dhaka's Lalbagh Police station told PTI.
They accused four BDR deputy assistant directors and two lower-rank soldiers of leading the revolt, taking hostage,
setting fire and hiding the bodies of the officials and their spouses. The names of the six were not immediately known.
Bodies of 73 army officers were retrieved so far while army and fire service rescuers were carrying out searches for
over 70 others. At least 33 officers survived the massacre.
The figure excluded the slain wives, relatives, civilians and BDR soldiers apparently killed for opposing the revolt.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina [Images] went to Dhaka Cantonment in her bid to quell the anguish in army, staying there for several hours for talks with officers. The military at a press conference last night vented out their demands for "quick inquiry and highest punishment" of the killers as promised by her government earlier.
The cabinet last night gave its seal on a decision to form special tribunals for trying the accused.
Hasina's Principal Staff Officer Lt Gen Mohammad Abdul Mubin had earlier said the government decided to form special tribunals for "quick and exemplary punishment of the culprits" for the "barbaric and gruesome activities", incorporating "due representation" of army in the investigation process.
The development came as several hundred BDR men reported to their barracks after authorities yesterday ordered fugitive soldiers to report back in 24 hours or face stern action.
Hundreds of BDR soldiers reportedly fled the headquarters after the rebellion. Elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion
and police so far arrested some 200 of them while manhunt was underway to capture other fugitives as the left their barracks defying orders to stay back after the rebellion.
"We so far arrested some 200 BDR soldiers who fled their barracks, many of them with weapons like grenades and looted money and ornaments," additional superintendent M Qumruzzaman earlier told PTI.
Hasina has promised fast-tracked trial of "culprits" involved in killings of army officers during the BDR mutiny despite an earlier announced general amnesty. "That the prime minister announced general amnesty does not mean that those rebel BDR soldiers who were involved in killings, rebellion, arson and other heinous activities will be forgiven," Mubin had said in a nationally televised statement.