It was a bid to 'avenge' BDR carnage | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 07, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 07, 2010

It was a bid to 'avenge' BDR carnage

Army finds Major Helal chose on his own Taposh as target, tagged along 4 juniors, collected explosives from Pilkhana


Fazle Noor Taposh

The five army officers dismissed recently for the bomb attack on Fazle Noor Taposh had done so, believing that the Awami League lawmaker had a hand in the BDR mutiny.
Major Helal, one of the five, was the mastermind behind the blast, which took place on October 21 last year, army sources said.
The officers--one major and four captains--have been sentenced to five years in prison by a court-martial. They began serving their term at Dhaka Central Jail on Thursday.
The convicted servicemen had collected the explosives used in the blast from the BDR Pilkhana headquarters while on duty there after the bloody mutiny, the sources told The Daily Star, citing findings of the probe into the attack on Taposh.
During their trial at Dhaka cantonment, they pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them.
The evidence produced before the court too proved they planned and executed the blast all by themselves.
Taposh, also nephew of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, came under the attack in front of his law chamber at Motijheel. He escaped unscathed, but at least 13 people were injured.
The army sources said Helal and the four captains--Rezaul Karim, Rajib, Fuad and Subayel Ibne Rafique--had been “confined to the line (officers' mess in Dhaka cantonment)” soon after their links to the blast surfaced.
For their conviction, the five will not be allowed to use their ranks as former army officers. They will also not get any benefits from the force.
Describing the background, the sources said Helal was posted to a BDR battalion in Teknaf at the time of Pilkhana carnage in the capital. As mutiny broke out at the barracks there as well, he left his station.
Known all along as an arrogant officer, he later tried on his own to track down those responsible for the BDR mutiny.
In news reports following the BDR mayhem, Taposh's name came up, as some BDR jawans had met him to talk about their demands and grievances months before the mutiny.
This along with Pilkhana being in his constituency led Helal to conclude that Taposh was behind the mutiny.
He soon started planning “to teach him a lesson”, which the military considers “absolutely unbecoming of a soldier”, noted the sources.
"If an army man has any grievances, we suggest he share those with the higher authorities. He must not take the law into his own hands," said an army officer in return for anonymity.
Helal and the four were among those assigned to recover arms and reorganise the paramilitary troops at the BDR headquarters after the carnage.
During that time, Helal shared with the captains his idea of “teaching Taposh a lesson”.
The four, who had either worked with the major before or were his students at the commando training school, agreed and set about planning to that end.
While recovering the arms and ammunition left by the mutineers, they collected some explosives and other bomb-making materials. They did not submit those to the authorities who destroyed the recovered grenades and explosives.
On the evening of October 21 last year, the five took position near Taposh's Motijheel office, and one of them detonated the bomb with a remote control device, the sources said.
They did the job without anyone else's help.
After learning about their officers' involvement in the blast, the army authorities began keeping a close watch on their movement. They also checked the call lists of their mobile phones.
The officers had used five new SIMs during the attack, yet the investigators managed to identify their handsets. They also gathered enough evidence to prove them guilty.
Though the five pleaded guilty to the charges, one of them claimed he was forced to do the job, and another said he was not sure what was actually going on.
The sources said the five staged the blast not to kill Taposh but to “teach the lawmaker a lesson”.
If they had done it with an intention to kill him, the army would have tried them differently.
The court-martial awarded them five years' imprisonment under section 55 of the Manual of Bangladesh Army Law.
The section titled "Violation of good order and discipline" reads: "Any person subject to this Act who is guilty of any act, conduct, disorder or neglect to the prejudice of good order and of military discipline shall, on conviction by court martial, be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years, or with such less punishment as is in this Act mentioned."

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