'Mutineers' cross-examine 3 witnesses
As the Special Court-7 yesterday resumed the trial of 667 jawans of 24 Rifle Battalion at the Pilkhana headquarters, 25 alleged mutineers cross-examined three witnesses.
The witnesses, Lt Col Reza, sepoys Ripon Kumar Biswas and Tobbas Ali, in their submissions narrated how the accused looted the central armoury and Dhaka sector magazine at the BDR headquarters during the mutiny on February 25 last year.
The jawans, however, denied the accusation of looting.
Ripon, a guard of the central armoury, said around 6,000 arms, ammunition and explosives were looted during the mutiny.
The court headed by BDR Director General Maj General Md Rafiqul Islam adjourned the hearing until 9:30am today.
All the 667 accused were produced before the court set up at the Darbar Hall of Pilkhana during the yesterday's proceedings.
Some 10 witnesses have so far submitted their depositions against 146 accused, and 142 of them completed cross-examining the witnesses.
The court yesterday curtailed one jawan's right to cross-examination.
When habilder Habibur Rahman, one of the 25, was cross-examining Tobbas Ali, the court intervened and asked him [Habibur] if he thinks their [BDR men] action on February 25 was a mutiny. As he replied that there was no mutiny, the court did not allow him to further cross-examine the witnesses for his lying to the court.
Sepoy Ripon in his statement said sepoy Shamim Al Mamun Jewel slapped wife of an army officer at the central quarter guard during the mutiny. Ripon said that when Jewel made the attack, his hand first hit him and then the woman and she fell to the ground.
During the cross-examination of Ripon, Jewel asked if he was a “Kingkong” that his slap hit one and then knocked down another one.
Meanwhile, out of 29 BDR mutineers of 1 Rifle Battalion, 27 confessed to their fault yesterday before the special court-14 at Kalikatcha in Sarail upazila of Brahmanbaria.
The special court adjourned the trial proceedings until 8:30am today.
Colonel SM Farhad, sector commander of BDR Comilla sector, chaired the four-member special court set up at the Recreation Hall of the BDR headquarters of the battalion.
Trials of around 6,000 BDR personnel on charges of mutiny are going on in different courts across the country. A number of courts at Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Sunamganj, Feni, Satkhira and Rangamati have already handed down their verdicts.
Trials for crimes like murder and looting during the bloody rebellion would be held under the civil law.
During the mutiny on February 25-26 last year, 74 people including 57 army officers were killed.