BDR mutiny masterminds wanted civil war: Hasina

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that the recent mutiny in the paramilitary force Bangladesh Rifles...

Dhaka | Published: March 9, 2009 11:47:48 pm

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that the recent mutiny in the paramilitary force Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) which killed 73 Army officers was aimed at triggering a civil war and warned that the masterminds behind the bloody revolt still wanted to achieve their goal.

“The aim of the conspirators,who had staged the bloody incidents at BDR headquarters killing scores of brilliant army officers,was to trigger anarchy and push the country to the brink of a civil war … They (mutiny masterminds) still want to set off a civil war,” she said during a discussion at her Awami League party’s meeting on Saturday.

The 33-hour mutiny by rebel BDR soldiers on February 25-26 had claimed 77 lives.

However,Hasina said that her government,which came to power after her party swept the December 29 general elections,had successfully tackled the crisis. She urged all to be alert so that the perpetrators could not commit similar crimes again in their bid to destroy the country’s democracy,which was restored after the landmark polls following two years of state of emergency.

Hasina renewed her pledge to bring “the killers and the conspirators to justice”. On Sunday,exactly a week Hasina sought US help in the investigation,two-member FBI team arrived in Dhaka to assist the probe. “They would carry out a preliminary survey and according to their report the FBI would fix what they could do in investigating the matter,” US Ambassador James Moriarty said.

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed,meanwhile,said the government was now awaiting the investigation reports into the mutiny to fix the mode of trial for the culprits. “They (culprits) can be tried under special tribunal,speedy trial tribunal and even in court marshal but we need to wait for the investigation report to fix the procedure of the trial,” he said.

Officials familiar with the investigation said more than 150 rebel soldiers were identified after screening of photographs and video footages while 36 had been detained so far. “We have been using the television footages and still photographs captured by journalists during the mutiny to identify the rebels while interrogation of the arrested soldiers was underway,” an official said.

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