9 Years of BDR Carnage: Still waiting for justice
With the country observing the anniversary of the BDR mutiny today, victims' families are still waiting for the execution of the verdict in a case filed over the killings of their near and dear ones nine years ago.
The High Court announced the verdict in the case in November last year, but it was yet to release the full judgment.
Deputy Attorney General KM Zahid Sarwar Kazal yesterday said as the HC did not release the full verdict, neither the government nor the accused could file appeals with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.
Mehreen Ferdousi, wife of slain BDR official Col Mujibul Haque, said, “We are still waiting for justice…we want prompt execution of the verdict.”
She demanded February 25 be declared “Sheheed Sena Dibosh”.
Maj Yusuf Iqbal, brother of Maj Idris Iqbal who was killed during the February 25-26, 2009 munity, also made the same demand.
Ashraful Alam Hannan, son of slain central subedar major Nurul Islam, said, “We want completion of all legal procedures as soon as possible and the execution of the judgment promptly.”
Nurul Islam was the only BDR man killed in the carnage for his attempt to tame the rebels.
On November 27 last year, the HC confirmed death penalty for 139 out of the 152 accused who were handed capital punishment by a lower court for their involvement in the killings during the mutiny.
Terming the offenders “most brutal” and “cold-blooded” murderers, a three-member special bench of the HC pronounced the verdict in the biggest-ever criminal case in the country's history in terms of numbers of accused and convicts.
The mutiny had left the nation benumbed, as people stood aghast at the extent of the barbarity perpetrated at the Pilkhana headquarters of the paramilitary force, later renamed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).
The massacre left 74 people, including 57 army officers, dead.
The mutineers revolted on February 25, 2009, which was fixed for the yearly Darbar (assembly) of the force during the BDR Week-2009.
The massacre started when the former BDR director general Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed was addressing the Darbar around 9:00am. Among the gathering of officers and lower-tier personnel, a group of jawans created a commotion pressing for some demands, including pay and benefits.
As the jawans kept on arguing, another group suddenly opened fire on the dais. The former DG was believed to been killed first.
The mutineers took many officers hostage and seized control of the headquarters within a few minutes, spraying bullets indiscriminately in the HQ compound. Thick plumes of smoke were billowing out of the headquarters.
On November 5, 2013, a Dhaka court awarded death sentence to 150 BDR members and two civilians, and life imprisonment to 160 others in the case.
At least 78 jawans, accused both in the carnage and mutiny cases, died under mysterious circumstances after the mutiny. Many of them reportedly died of heart attack in police custody while a few others committed suicide.
Marking the day, a doa and milad mahfil would be held at Bir Uttam Fazlur Rahman Khandakar Auditorium of the BGB headquarters at Pilkhana after asar prayers today, seeking salvation of the departed souls, said a BGB press release.
Besides, representatives of the president, prime minister, home minister, chiefs of the three forces and the BGB director general will place wreaths at the memorial of the deceased in the city's Banani.