50 BDR members jailed, 1 acquitted | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 13, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 13, 2010

Mutiny at Thakurgaon

50 BDR members jailed, 1 acquitted

A special court yesterday sentenced 50 accused personnel of 20 Rifle Battalion to different jail terms for their involvement in the Thakurgaon BDR mutiny in February last year.
The court however acquitted a jawan as the allegation brought against him could not be proved.
BDR Director General Maj Gen M Mainul Islam, heading the three-member special court-2, delivered the verdict in the mutiny case at 4:00pm. The other members are Lt Col Mahfuzur Rahaman and Maj Didar Al Latif.
Two jawans were sentenced to imprisonment for seven years, five to six years, two to five years and six months, five to five years, two to three years, four to two years, three to thirteen months, 14 to six months and 13 others to four months' rigorous imprisonment. The court also fined them Tk 100 each.
This is the second verdict of a BDR special court set up for trying accused mutineers of the paramilitary force. The same court on April 7 delivered a verdict in a case against 29 accused BDR members of 25 Rifle Battalion in Panchagarh.
In the judgment, Maj Gen Mainul said all facts and evidence proved that the accused were involved in the mutiny in Thakurgaon BDR Battalion on February 26.
Nayeb Subedar Md Shahidullah Biswas and Sepoy Md Shajahan were sentenced to seven years' rigorous imprisonment, Habildar Md Abdul Haque, Sepoy Arifur Rahman Majumder, Subedar Maj Khondaker Mohammad Mohosin, Sepoy Md Meraz Ali and Sepoy Md Nahidur Rahman to six years, Sepoy Md Jahirul Haque and Assistant Lance Nayek Md Siddiqur Rahaman for five years and six months, Lance Nayek Md Selim Mia, Sepoy Md Zakir Hossain, Nayek Md Anamul Haque, Lance Nayek Md Nurul Islam and Sepoy Habibur Rahaman for five years, Sepoy Md Ali Akbar and Assistant Nayeb Subedar Md Fazlur Rahaman Bhuiyan for three years, Sepoy Md Razu Ahammed, Sepoy Md Ruhul Amin, Assistant Sepoy Md Nazmul Huda and Assistant Sepoy Md Saiful Islam for two years, Assistant Lance Nayek Md Anwar Hossain, Habildar Golam Mostafa and Sepoy Md Amzad Hossain to 13 months of rigorous imprisonment.
Habildar Md Jalal Uddin, Lance Nayek Abul Basher, sepoys Rezaul Karim, Mohammad Arshad, Md Jasim Uddin, Md Pappu Mondal, Md Manjurul Basher, Md Akhteruzzaman, Masum Billah, Md Halim Rana, Md Selim Reza, Ebne Masud Rana, Ziaur Rahman and Md Sabur Uddin were awarded six months' rigorous imprisonment.
Habildar Rezaul Karim, sepoys Abdullah Al Mamun, Md Ekabbar Ali, Mohammad Zillur Rahaman, Md Hanif Uddin, Md Rabiul Islam, Md Moksedul Haque, Md Babul Akhter, Shahin Mahmud, Mahmud Elias, Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal, Md Mir Hossain and Wasim Akram were sentenced to four months' imprisonment. Most of them were new recruits at that time.
Nayeb Subedar Saiful Islam, now on leave preparatory to retirement (LPR), was acquitted.
The court awarded lesser punishment to 44 of the 51 accused as they sought mercy confessing to their guilt after the court framed charges against the accused on April 8.
On completion of hearing, the court on Sunday fixed yesterday for delivering judgment.
Maj Gen Mainul said the verdict would remain as an example in the battalion's history. All legal proceedings were maintained during the trial and the accused were given 69 days' time in place of 27 days for making preparation to defend themselves.
He said seven civilian lawyers and a BDR official were appointed for giving legal assistance to the accused.
The trial was held in presence of visitors, relatives of the accused and journalists.
Many convicts burst into tears after Mainul pronounced the verdict. A number of them said they were punished without any reason while the real culprits remain at large.
Prosecutor in the case Lt Col Mahfuz Alom, also commanding officer of 25 Rifles Battalion, told journalists that such a verdict was essential for a disciplined force.
Emran Chowdhury, one of the counsels for the accused, said there is no scope for questioning any witness according to the BDR law.
Public Prosecutor Mosharaf Hossain Kajol said justice has been done. He said there is no option to challenge the verdict as the special court is the highest court for BDR.
The court ordered the prosecution to send copies of the verdict to the BDR headquarters, deputy commissioner, jail superintendent and superintendent of police in Thakurgaon and all high-ups of 20 Rifle Battalion.
The trial began on February 3 and was adjourned on February 4 giving the accused 64 days to make preparation to defend themselves.
Nurul Islam Fakir, deputy assistant director of 20 Rifle Battalion, placed the charges against the 51 as the complainant on February 3.
Deputy Attorney General Biswajit Roy represented attorney general at the court. Public Prosecutor Monjurul Alam was also present.

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