BDR carnage 8th anniversary Saturday: BNP for national mourning

BDR carnage 8th anniversary Saturday: BNP for national mourning

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Dhaka, Feb 24 – The 8th anniversary of the atrocious carnage at Pilkhana BDR Headquarters in the capital will be observed on Saturday.
A total of 74 people, including 57 army officers, were killed in the carnage beginning on this day in 2009.
To mark the day, special prayers will be offered at the mosque of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Pilkhana headquarters after Fazr prayers, seeking divine blessings for the departed souls.Besides, floral wreaths will be placed at the graves of the army officers, who were killed during the BDR outrage, at Banani Graveyard at 9am on behalf of President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Later, the Home Minister, the chiefs of the three services, the home secretary and the BGB DG will pay their tributes to the slain army officers.
BNP on Friday demanded that the government announce February 25 as a ‘national mourning day’ commemorating the tragedy that took place at Pilkhana in 2009.
“The brutal and tragic killing of 57 army officers on February 25 and 26, 2009 is a very shocking and painful incident for the nation. I on behalf of BNP strongly demand that the day of murdering army officers at Pilkhana be announced as a national mourning day,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
He made the demand at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.
On February 25, 2009, hundreds of Bangladesh Rifles (now BGB) men rose up in armed revolt at Darbar Hall during the three-day ‘BDR Week’ inside the Pilkhana headquarters and killed 74 people, including 57 deputed army officers.
The mutiny finally ended the next day (Feb 26) with the surrender of the firearms and grenades through negotiation between the government and the BDR rebels.
After the mutiny, BDR was renamed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and 58 cases were filed– one for serious crimes, including murder and looting, and the rest for mutiny.
Some 152 people were sentenced to death and 423 others to different jail terms and 277 others acquitted in the country’s largest-ever killing case.
Among the convicts, 161 people, including late BNP leader Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu and local Awami League leader Torab Ali, were sentenced to life term imprisonment while 262 others to different jail terms starting from three months to 19 years.
On the other hand, a total of 5,926 BDR personnel were sentenced to different jail terms ranging from four months to seven years in the 57 mutiny cases.
In the press conference the BNP joint secretary genmeral alleged that the reason behind the Pilkhana carnage is yet to be unearthed. “Many people have been punished while many others remained untouched over the pre-mediated Pilkhana massacre. Though it was heard that many ruling party men had been involved in the incident, there was an effort to hush it up. The whole episode remained shrouded in mystery.”
Rizvi said their party thinks a high-profile neutral probe body should be formed to unearth the mystery behind the Pilkhana tragedy. “We think sufficient investigation was not carried out in this regard.”
He said there might have been a local and international conspiracy behind the incident to make army, the nation’s symbol of protecting independence and sovereignty, weak.
On 25 February, 2009, hundreds of Bangladesh Rifles (now BGB) men rose up in armed revolt at Darbar Hall during the three-day ‘BDR Week’ inside the Pilkhana headquarters and killed 74 people, including 57 deputed army officers.
The mutiny finally ended the next day (26 February) with the surrender of the firearms and grenades through negotiation between the government and the BDR rebels.
At a discussion, BNP vice-chairman Hafizuddin Ahmed also said February 25 should be observed as the national mourning day.
Bangladesh National Awami Party (Nap) arranged the programme at Shishu Kalyan Parishad auditorium in the city’s Segunbagicha area.
Hafiz said the masterminds of the BDR mutiny are still to be identified. “They need to be put on trial.”
Posing a question, he said, “Why has not army’s probe into the incident made public?”
“The February 25 tragedy was an outcome of an international plot. The local traitors and international vested quarters who had wanted to weaken Bangladesh and harm its defence system carried out the incident,” he said. – UNB

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