Charges against 44 BDR men framed
The special court-17 yesterday framed charges against 44 members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) for their involvement in the 2009 mutiny at 37 Rifles Battalion in Rajshahi.
The three-member judges' panel framed charges against the accused under Section 10 A (1) of the BDR Order 1972 for staging mutiny at the battalion headquarters, firing gunshots and desecrating portrait of then BDR DG Shakil Ahmed.
Of the accused, 15 BDR members confessed to their involvement in the mutiny at the battalion headquarters on February 26 last year while the rest 29 claimed innocence.
The self-confessed accused sought mercy just before charge framing at around 11:00am. They are Lance Nayek Golam Hossain, sepoys Abdul Hakim, Taiyab Ali, SK Aslam Hossain, Nisar Hossain, Kawsar Ali, Nasir Uddin, Mohsin Sardar, Taj Uddin, Abdul Kader, Sadhu Chakraborty, Abu Zafar Siddique, Ranju Ahmed, Manjurul Alam and Mahfuzul Haq.
All the accused were produced in the special court led by Kushtia Sector Commander Nazrul Islam Sarker. Two other members of the court are Lt Col Gazi M Salah Uddin and Maj Mohammad Ashfaq Hossain. Attorney general's representative Mohammad Salim was present.
Prosecutor Lt Col Zahid Hassan read out the allegations against the accused and submitted video footage and list of witnesses to the court. He alleged that some of the accused took part in the mutiny although they were on leave and attacked the then Rajshahi sector commander Col Ehiya Azam Khan. Nayeb Subedar Nazrul Islam filed the case with the court.
The court was adjourned twice before beginning of hearing of the prosecution witnesses. The accused were given opportunity for questioning the witnesses. Mollah Hafizur Rahman, who had earlier claimed innocence, told the court that he got involved in the mutineers out of ignorance.
The court yesterday recorded statements of 11 of the 57 prosecution witnesses (PWs). Argument between the accused and the PWs will begin at the special court today.