Recap: BDR Vs. Army
Filed Under: Politics, World | Posted: 02/25/2009 at 11:20PM
Comments | Region: Bangladesh
The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina offered a general amnesty to the mutineers who held more than 100 top officers hostage including the director general of BDR.
The BDR was successful in taking over
Taposh informed reporters that the mutineers would surrender their arms, asking for an hour’s time to initiate the process.
While the Home Minister and the government delegation were negotiating further, gunshots were heard with the mutineers threatening to not surrender until the army was withdrawn, and their demands met. They went further to state that they would blow up the entire BDR headquarters.
Bodies of two officers — Col Mujib and Lt Col Enayet — were recovered from a sewage system outside the BDR headquarters. But their deaths were not officially declared till filing of this report at .
Sources said the number of dead officers would be much higher. Witnesses said they saw scores of bodies lying on the ground in and around Pilkhana, adding that some jawans were seen stabbing the bodies with bayonets.
Unofficial sources claimed that at least a half of around 6,000 soldiers opposed the mutiny. Many of them were killed along with the officers, though it could not be confirmed. Some of the disagreeing soldiers fled Pilkhana as soon as they saw the killing of the officers, unconfirmed sources said.
They added that the bodies of the slain persons were dumped through the manholes of Pilkhana sewers.
The mutiny apparently had no specific leader, although the rebels named one Nayek Shahid as their leader in their television interviews. Sources said they were acting as sparse small groups.
Following a circulation of leaflets by the rebels on Tuesday, tension prevailed in Pilkhana throughout the night between officers and sepoys.
No information on the whereabouts of any other officer was available throughout the day except for the recovery of the two officers’ dead bodies. The mutineers were careful not to disclose any information to them.
Sources said not all hostage officers were confined in Darbar Hall, many of them were taken to different buildings.
Some mutineers claimed in television interviews in the afternoon that one officer had been killed. But within hours of that claim the two bodies of high officials were recovered from the BDR sewage system that ended at Rayerbazar indicating that the number of casualties was much higher.
Thousands of army personnel surrounded the BDR headquarters with cannons, recoilless rifles, heavy machineguns and rocket launchers. Trucks after trucks, soldiers after soldiers filed through the streets of Dhanmondi,
According to a SMS from Mujibul Haq’s son, sent from the BDR compound at , Mujib’s house was set on fire and he could not come out fearing death by gun shots. No information about Mujib’s son, daughter, and wife could be gathered after that.
Mujib had led BDR’s Dal-Bhaat programme under the caretaker government and was present at Pilkhana’s Darbar Hall from where the mutiny sparked during a speech of the border security force’s Director General (DG) Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed, on the occasion the BDR Week.
The mutineers began by speaking out at the Darbar Hall against the BDR high ups, accusing them of misappropriating ‘profits’ made from the Dal-Bhaat programme, where 12 BDR sector commanders, many battalion commanders, and headquarters officers had gathered.
Mutinous members of a
"We will not surrender to the army and we will not lay down weapons until they withdraw," said one BDR officer at his headquarters via a loudspeaker.
The mutineers agreed to lay down their arms but did not specify who they would hand their weapons over to.
Doctors at a
"Fighting is raging outside the BDR camp with troops coming on the street holding up guns and shooting," said a Reuters witness in Sylhet, in the northeast of the country.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Death tolls are yet uncertain and unofficial sources report that the army are about to penetrate the BDR camp. Mobile networks are being shut down.
Reports of BDR rebellion in Thakurgaon, Sylhet, and Rangamati have also been reported.
Photo credits: Adittya Dhar and Zaki Ameen