Army reins in its anger | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 01, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 01, 2009

Army HQ Tells Press

Army reins in its anger

Military action was all planned in time; problem solved politically at PM's directive

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Army officials yesterday said they are in profound grief over the massacre of their colleagues and family members at Pilkhana but being members of a disciplined force they have to control their emotions.
"It was a carnage. So it is natural that there will be pent-up anger among us. But, being members of a disciplined force, we can control our emotion," said Director of Military Intelligence Brig Gen Mahmud Hossain at a press briefing at the army headquarters in Dhaka cantonment.
"I believe if exemplary punishment is meted out to the people involved directly or indirectly in the mutiny and those who instigated it, it will help pacify the anger among our officers and soldiers," he said.
Mahmud said the crisis was solved politically following the prime minister's directives although they made all preparations to carry out military operations at the BDR headquarters.
The director of Military Intelligence said certainly all BDR members at the headquarters did not take part in the mutiny but those involved in it need to be identified through investigation.
He said the number of the BDR members involved in the mutiny might not be much compared to the people present there.
"I cannot say what should be the process of trial. But whatever it is, we demand a speedy trial," he said.
Whatever might be the reason behind the mutiny, the BDR jawans should not have expressed their anger through such brutal killings, he added.
At the press conference, Lt Col Salam and Maj Istiaque, who survived the massacre, narrated the brutalities committed by the disgruntled BDR jawans.
Replying to a query, Salam, who was assaulted by rebel BDR jawans during the mutiny, said a group of BDR jawans were involved in the killings and some of them were very aggressive.
He also described how the wife of a jawan tried to save him from the rebel BDR jawans by misleading them at the quarters where he took shelter.
He also urged the media to broadcast or publish reports more objectively.
Salam said, "I never committed any crime but my children heard [in media] that I deprived the BDR jawans. It would have not been a big deal if I had got killed. But it is unfortunate that my children heard their father had done injustice to his subordinates."
The army did the right thing by showing patience, he added.
Maj Istiaque said he was at the back of the Darbar Hall when two shots were fired outside the hall. Suddenly, all started running to get out of the hall.
He ran for his life and reached a family quarters where he saw a BDR jawan.
The BDR member gave Istiaque shelter in his house where he saw four to five BDR members. He also requested Istiaque to wear his uniform to deceive the rebel jawans.
"I spent the night in his house," he added.

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