Bangla Remembers On 1st BDR Mutiny Anniversary

Bangla Remembers On 1st BDR Mutiny Anniversary
Prayers, tributes and tears marked the first anniversary of the deadly BDR mutiny in Bangladesh as the nation remembered the 57 Army officers who were killed by rebelling paramilitary troops here last year.

Wreaths were placed at the Banani army graveyard, where most of the assassinated officers were buried, on behalf of President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Fifty-seven army officers, who were deputed to the paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles as commanders, were among 74 people killed by rebel BDR jawans at the forces' headquarters at Pilkhana on February 25-26, 2009. Of the 57, 48 were buried at the Banani army graveyard.

Home Minister Sahara Khatun, State Minister for Home Shamsul Huq Tuku and chiefs of the three services also paid homage to those killed by placing wreaths at the memorial, observing a one-minute silence and offering prayers seeking peace and salvation for the departed souls.

Heart rending scenes were witnessed as family members of the dead visited the graveyard, many of them in tears, and remembered their near and dear ones, and offered prayers.

As many as 900 border guards are expected to be charged over the rebellion, investigators probing the massacre have said, while Premier Sheikh Hasina has vowed to track down "provocateurs" of the mutiny.

Television channels aired special programmes on the occasion, while national newspapers published a number of reports on last year's BDR carnage.

"We will find out the provocateurs of the gruesome killings inside the BDR headquarters and expose them to justice along with the killers," Hasina said, addressing a public rally on the eve of the first anniversay.

She did not indicate who could have provoked the rebellion. But alleged that when all the partners of the ruling Awami League-led grand alliance joined the rescue efforts, main opposition BNP of her archrival Khaleda Zia was not seen at the scene.

Her comments came as the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police said they were ready to submit the charge-sheet against the culprits of the massacre, detecting the suspects after one year of probe.

As per a government decision, the suspects would be tried under the fast-track Speedy Trial Tribunal, which is obligated to complete the trial in 135 days.

The trial of ordinary mutineers, who did not take part in offences like murders during the 33-hour siege, is being conducted under the relatively lenient BDR Act in Dhaka and four other places at special BDR courts.

Assistant Military Secretary to the President Lt Col Zakir Hossain and Military Secretary to the Prime Minister Brig Gen Salahuddin Miaji also placed the wreaths at the memorial this morning to mark the day.
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