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25 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM

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9 years of bdr mutiny

The bereaved want Feb 25 as Shaheed Sena Dibas

DEEPAK ACHARJEE
The bereaved want Feb 25 as Shaheed Sena Dibas

The family members of the officers killed in the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) mutiny on February 25/26, 2009, have urged the government to observe February 25 as Shaheed Sena Dibas (Martyred Soldiers’ Day) and declare it a public holiday. The BDR is what is now called the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB).

The demand came on the eve of the ninth anniversary of the tragic incident that left 74 people, 57 of them BDR officers, dead at the Darbar Hall of the headquarters of the paramilitary force in Dhaka’s Pilkhana.

Nehrin Ferdousi, the widow of Col. Md Mujibul Haque, told The Independent yesterday that the government should recognize the soldiers’ sacrifice by declaring February 25 as ‘Shaheed Sena Dibas’.

“We also urge the government to build a monument for the slain soldiers so that people remember them for a long time,” she said.

For Ferdousi, February is now a “month of mourning”. “We are now surviving for the people of the country by doing various kinds of social work,” she said.

Dr Sayeda Sultana, the widow of Brig. Gen. Md Zakir Hossain, urged the government to take steps to avoid such incidents in future.

“My husband sacrificed his life for the country. It is a very painful and personal loss and I never share it with anybody,” she said. “But I want the citizens to obey the country’s rules and do their work properly to build a prosperous Bangladesh,” she added.

The Bangladesh Army and the BGB will observe the ninth anniversary of the BDR mutiny separately today. Special prayers will be offered at the mosque of the BGB’s Pilkhana headquarters after Fazr prayers, seeking blessings for the departed souls.

Floral wreaths will be placed at the graves of the slain soldiers at the Banani graveyard at 9 am on behalf of President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The home minister, the chiefs of the three services, the home secretary, and the BGB DG will pay their tributes to the slain officers.

On February 25, 2009, several BDR jawans waged the armed revolt at the Pilkhana headquarters during the three-day BDR Week. After a long discussion between and government and the mutineers, the revolt ended on February 26 with the surrender of the firearms and grenades.

After the mutiny, the BDR was renamed the BGB. In all, 58 cases were filed—one for serious crimes, including murder and looting, and the rest for mutiny.

On November 5, 2013, the Dhaka third additional metropolitan sessions judge Md Akhtaruzzaman issued sentences against 568 accused, most of them BDR troopers. As many as 152 of them were given the death penalty, while 160 received life imprisonment and 256 got varying jail terms.

A total of 5,926 BDR personnel were sentenced to different jail terms, ranging from four months to seven years, in the 57 mutiny cases.

Citing examples from various national and international mutiny cases, the High Court bench had said that the killing of 74 men, including 57 officers, within 30 hours was horrific, barbaric, and an unprecedented incident in world history.

The HC bench had also praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her wisdom in tackling the situation with a cool head despite forming a new government only 48 days before the incident.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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