Dhaka: Bangladesh is remembering the victims of a bloody mutiny by paramilitary troopers of then BDR at the now Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) headquarters on this day in 2009.
Altogether 74 people were killed in the 33-hour coup that ended with the rebels’ surrender.
The cold-blooded execution of 57 army officers, including the then border guard chief, is the biggest massacre of defence commanders in the country’s history. Now eye is at the verdict of ‘Peelkhana genocide case’ in 2009.
The Bangladesh Rifles revolt was a mutiny staged on 25 and 26 February 2009 in Dhaka by a section of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), a paramilitary force mainly tasked with guarding the borders of Bangladesh. The rebelling BDR soldiers took over the BDR headquarters in Pilkhana, killing the BDR Director-General and some army officers. They also fired on civilians, held many of their officers hostage, vandalised property and looted valuables. By the second day, unrest had spread to 12 other towns and cities. The mutiny ended as the mutineers surrendered their arms and released the hostages after a series of discussions and negotiations with the government.
On 5 November 2013, Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Court sentenced 152 people to death and 161 to life imprisonment; another 256 people received sentences between three and ten years for their involvement in the mutiny. The court also acquitted 277 people who had been charged. The trials have been condemned as unfair mass trials without timely access to lawyers and “seem designed to satisfy a desire for cruel revenge”, as charged by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights.