Victims' families for judicial commission
The families of the army officials killed in the 2009 Pilkhana carnage have demanded a judicial inquiry to bring to light the masterminds and the motive behind the massacre.
"Since the carnage cases are currently under hearing at the High Court, we will submit a petition seeking a judicial inquiry commission once a verdict is given by the court," said Saquib Rahman, son of Col Kudrat Elahi, one of the slain officers.
Saquib, also the founder of social group “Desh, We're Concerned” was speaking at a programme held at the capital's Jatiya Press Club yesterday afternoon.
The programme was held in memory of 57 army personnel who along with 17 others were murdered during the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) mutiny at its Pilkhana headquarters in Dhaka on February 25-26, 2009.
The paramilitary force was later renamed Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).
Rights activist Sultana Kamal, present as the chief guest, too stressed the need for finding out the masterminds behind that incident.
"If we do not know the reason behind so many killings, the resolution of grief cannot be reached," she said.
Referring to the 152 people sentenced to death by a Dhaka court on November 5, 2013, Sultana Kamal said, "So many people are being hanged but we still do not know the purview of the crime."
She questioned why none of the three inquiry committees formed following the bloodbath could not come up with proper information regarding the reason behind the massacre.
Demanding quick execution of the court verdict, Habibur Rahman, father of Col Kudrat Elahi, said, "The way things are moving, I doubt if I could see the implementation of the verdict in my lifetime or if it would be done during my grandson's lifetime."
Family members also urged the government to declare February 25 as “Shaheed Sena Dibas” and observe it nationally.
"Every day is February 25 for us. We cannot get back what we lost. But if the government declares this day as Shaheed Sena Dibas, we will get something," said Rita Rahman, widow of slain army officer Maj Mahbubur Rahman.
Nehreen Ferdousi, widow of Col Mojibul Haque, called upon the government to build a memorial so that the future generations can learn about the bloodshed.
"We are often asked by people what financial benefit we got from the government after the incident. I want to make it clear that whatever we received was not aid. It was what our husbands deserved for their service to the nation," she added.
Since its formation in 2012, the organisation, “Desh, We're Concerned”, has been observing the BDR carnage anniversary through different programmes.
A total of 846 people, including 823 who belonged to BDR, were on trial for the carnage. Of them, 161 were awarded life term while 256 got rigorous imprisonment ranging from three to 10 years. The court acquitted 277 accused.