Intelligence unit let it happen
Failure and betrayal of the members of BDR intelligence wing Rifles Security Unit let the bloody mutiny take place in the force's Pilkhana headquarters on February 24-26 last year, said the unit's commanding officer.
Lt Col Md Atiquzzaman, the commanding officer, yesterday also said the alleged mutineers of the security unit carried out the major part of the task of removing and dumping the bodies of slain army officers in the mass grave during the carnage.
He was talking to journalists after his submission before BDR Special Court-6 as a prosecutor of the mutiny case against 113 alleged mutineers of his unit.
"It is not possible to say in a wholesale fashion that every member of the unit was responsible for the failure and betrayal because about half of them are not facing this trial," he said in reply to a question.
"We would say both the reasons--intelligence failure and betrayal by taking part in planning the mutiny by the Rifles Security Unit members--were correct, but the betrayal contributed more than the other," said Atiq.
He said the leaflet distributed by the mutineers was found on February 21, three days before the mutiny broke out and killed 74 persons including 57 army officers.
"The RSU field level members found only four leaflets before the mutiny but we have heard that several thousand leaflets were distributed," he said.
During his submission before the three-member court, Lt Col Atiq said the RSU works as the eyes and ears of the paramilitary force, but the members of this unit did not alert the authorities by giving any advance information regarding the mutiny.
"Rather some of them were involved in the planning and consultation for the mutiny and preparing the leaflets."
A total of 70 field level intelligence men including a few hired ones were deployed in Pilkhana under a special intelligence programme for the BDR week from February 22 to February 26 last year, he said.
"It was a betrayal of extreme level against Bangladesh Rifles and the nation," the prosecutor told the court comprising its President Maj Gen M Mainul Islam, and members Lt Col Md Nurul Alam and Maj Md Ali Mustain Khan.
He brought specific allegations against all the 113 accused who were present in the dock of the court set up in the Darbar Hall at Pilkhana.
Twenty-six of the accused were present in the Darbar of slain DG Maj Gen Shakil but they left Darbar Hall soon after the mutiny broke out.
Atiq told the court that Subedar Md Yusuf Ali Khan and thirty other armed mutineers forcefully collected sharp farming tools including spades and shovels to dig soil and dump the dead bodies in the mass grave beside the BDR hospital.
Gen Mainul questioned a few accused about the allegations against them and all of them denied the charges although they could not give satisfactory answers to Mainul's questions.
"The responsibilities of the intelligence members are much more than those of ordinary soldiers," Lt Col Atiq told reporters. If the RSU members had discharged their duties, the mutiny could have been prevented, he added.
The prosecutor prayed to the court that charges be framed against the alleged mutineers. The president of the court, outgoing BDR DG Mainul, fixed December 19 10:00am for hearing on charge framing and ordered to produce the accused before the court on that day.
Deputy Attorney General advocate Kazi Ejarul Akand was present in the bench of the court as the representative of the attorney general.
TRIAL OF SIGNAL SECTOR
Before the trial of the alleged mutineers of RSU, the same court sat in Darbar Hall to hold the second day's trial of a case against 187 alleged mutineers of the BDR Signal Sector in Pilkhana.
Prosecutor of the case Lt Col Md Nazrul Islam Sarker submitted specific charges of mutiny against the accused, all of whom were sitting in the dock when he was reading out the allegations.
Following the prayer of the prosecutor, the three-member Special Court-6 fixed December 5 10:00am for the hearing on charge framing.