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Offline Yrys

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Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« on: February 25, 2009, 15:01:06 »
Country profile: Bangladesh, Monday, 12 January 2009



India's battle to seal porous borders, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Bangladesh's first line of defence, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Bangladeshi border guards have mutinied at their headquarters in the capital,
Dhaka. Local media have speculated that the revolt is over pay and working
conditions. The BBC's Subir Bhaumik reports on the origins of the force.



Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

One person has been killed and a number of people wounded in a mutiny
at the border guards headquarters in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka.

PM Sheikh Hasina has reportedly offered an amnesty to the troops who
mutinied in an attempt to end the crisis. The mutiny is said to be over
pay, conditions and career advancement.

Heavy fighting started at 0330 GMT. An army helicopter patrolling above
the barracks was shot at and mortar rounds were also fired. The mutiny
came a day after Sheikh Hasina visited the HQ to hand out medals.

Shopping centre

Police and the regular army were deployed at the headquarters of the
Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) after gunfire erupted. The barracks holds
2,000-4,000 troops.

Some reports said the mutineers had taken officers hostage. One of the
mutineers called the BBC and said the action was because of discrimination
against BDR troops by the regular army, who make up the officers. The
mutineers say the BDR rank and file were denied permission to speak to
Sheikh Hasina when she visited.

One BDR member was heard addressing the mutineers by megaphone:
"Brothers, let's stay together. The army is trying to come in, and we will
stop them by any means."

There were reports that some of the paramilitaries also stormed out of the
complex and seized the nearby shopping centre. Representatives of the
mutineers were given safe passage, escorted by two MPs, to the office of
Sheikh Hasina. Sheikh Hasina and senior ministers met 14 BDR troops,
the PM's deputy press secretary, Nakibuddin Ahmed, said.

The Bangladesh army earlier issued a statement calling on the renegade
troops to "surrender and go back to the barracks". "Any soldiers who fail
to give up arms after this announcement will be prosecuted," the
statement said.

One mutineer told local television the action would not end unless the
government "declares a general amnesty, meets our demands and
withdraws the army from outside the compound".

There were fears for dozens of students between the ages of five and 16 who
were trapped in a school inside the compound. Anxious parents gathered near
the site. Monira Khatoon, the mother of a 10-year-old boy, told Associated Press
news agency: "I'm so worried about my son... I pray no harm will be done."

Boy shot

The BBC's Mark Dummett says there is still intermittent fire in the area and that
streets and shops have been closed near the site in the Pilkhana area of Dhaka.
Our correspondent says there is no indication that this is a coup. Bangladesh has
witnessed many successful and failed coup attempts. However, security has been
tightened at other BDR barracks around the country and India says it has put its
own Border Security Force on alert.

One witness, Asifur Rahman, was on his way home from university when he
got caught up in the violence. "It was pretty bad and everyone was running,
trying to get away," he told the BBC. "One little boy of about eight was shot
but he wasn't badly hurt," he said.

Officials at Dhaka's Medical College Hospital said one civilian had been killed.
At least six people have been wounded, although it is not clear whether any of
them are soldiers.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 15:15:39 by Yrys »
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Offline Yrys

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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 15:14:12 »
In pictures: Dhaka mutiny (8 pictures, 5 below)



1.Bangladeshi troops are deployed in the capital Dhaka as a mutiny
takes place in the headquarters of the border guards.


2.There are some reports that officers have been taken hostage.


6.Local media have speculated that the revolt is over pay and
working conditions.


7. Streets have been cleared and shops have been closed near the site.


8. A policeman holds up a spent bullet following the shooting near the
Bangladesh Rifles headquarters
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Offline Snakedoc

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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 16:39:16 »
wow, let's hope this one ends peacefully..

Offline Yrys

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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2009, 17:32:21 »
It's seems to be

Bangladesh guard mutiny is over  : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7912392.stm

Bangladesh spared more gunfire  : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7913554.stm

Eyewitness: Bangladesh mutiny  : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7912540.stm


In pictures: Bangladesh violence : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/7911960.stm
(11 pictures)
The Bangladeshi government says that mutinous paramilitary border guards have surrendered after a two-day revolt. [Warning: Some of these images may be disturbing.]

I wonder if their weapons are recent... (I'm a civie with no knowledge of weapons)



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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2009, 10:02:27 »
DHAKA, Bangladesh – Security forces have detained hundreds of fleeing border guards and set up roadblocks across the country since a bloody two-day revolt against military officers reportedly left at least 40 people dead, officials and a local TV report said Friday.

The border guards, whose unit rose up against their commanders earlier this week, have been promised amnesty, but it was not clear if that would apply to guards who fled their bases.

Soon after tanks rolled into Dhaka and intimidated the mutinous border guards, who had seized their main compound in the capital, into laying down their arms, many mutineers fled under cover of darkness, according to Abdul Kashem, an official of the mutinous Bangladesh Rifles, the official name of the paramilitary border force.

Commander A.K. Azad, a spokesman for the elite Rapid Action Battalion, said more than 230 mutineers — most dressed in civilian clothing — were rounded up Thursday night on the outskirts of Dhaka. Another battalion official, M. Morshed, said security forces had arrested 68 more mutineers near the town of Savar, 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Dhaka.

Security forces have set up highway checkpoints to search buses, and are also searching ferries as they look for more mutineers, officials said.

On Friday afternoon, the private TV station ETV reported that 18 more bodies had been taken from the wreckage of the guards' main compound, raising the death toll to at least 40 people. Officials had earlier said 22 bodies had been recovered, though dozens of people remained missing.

A reporter for ETV television, who said he had seen the corpses, said that most appeared to be unit commanders.

Dozens of families — particularly those related to senior border guard officers — still did not know what had happened to their relatives, and they gathered Thursday as authorities continued to retrieve bodies from the main border guard base.

"Let me talk to my father. Where is my father?" cried 10-year-old Mohammad Rakib, standing outside the devastated headquarters of the border agency. Rakib was with his mother looking for his father, Capt. Mohammad Shamim.

Nearly 2,000 guards opened fire on their senior officers and seized their headquarters in the capital Wednesday to protest poor pay and conditions.

Fire official Dilip Kumar Ghosh said 34 people were rescued after the mutineers surrendered and firefighters were searching for at least 65 more missing people.

Ghosh said two of the bodies — a man and a woman — were found at the home of the border force's chief, Maj. Gen. Shakil Ahmed, but that the commander was not one of them.

One officer said earlier that he saw Ahmed killed immediately after the mutiny began Wednesday.

"I was confronted by the soldiers three times, but I have survived," that officer, Lt. Col. Syed Kamruzzaman, told ATN Bangla television station. "Allah has saved me from the face of death."

Authorities would not comment on the chief's whereabouts.

The mutinous guards had agreed to surrender after the government promised Wednesday to give them amnesty and look into their demands.

But as the process stalled and the revolt appeared to be spreading to other areas Thursday, recently elected Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina warned the rebels she would "do whatever is needed to end the violence."

Hours later, tanks and armored vehicles with heavy machine guns rolled into the capital, taking up positions in residential neighborhoods around the border guards' compound.

The guards then hoisted a white flag Thursday afternoon and resumed laying down their arms.

The insurrection was the result of longtime frustrations over pay for the border guards that didn't keep pace with that of the army's — highlighted by rising food prices in the chronically poor South Asian country as the global economic crisis grows. The guards make about $100 a month.

Their resentment has been heightened by the practice of appointing army officers to head the border guards. The border guards also do not participate in U.N. peacekeeping missions, which bring additional pay.

The army plays a pivotal role in Bangladesh, and only recently allowed the country of 150 million return to civilian rule.

There have been 19 failed coup attempts since the country gained independence from Pakistan in 1971, and two presidents have been killed in military takeovers. 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090227/...gladesh_mutiny

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2009, 12:56:05 »


Army soldiers standing atop a tank load bullets before moving to the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters in Dhaka February 26, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj



Army soldiers atop a tank load bullets before moving to the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters in Dhaka, February 26, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj

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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2009, 23:34:12 »
Dozens more bodies found at Bangladesh mutiny site, posing challenge to new civilian leaders
By JULHAS ALAM, Associated Press Writer
11:46 AM PST, February 27, 2009
Quote

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Firefighters searching the headquarters compound of Bangladesh's border guards on Friday uncovered the grisly results of the force's two-day mutiny — dozens of senior officers massacred, their bodies hurriedly dumped into shallow graves and sewers.

By nightfall, 44 bodies had been found, including the body of Maj. Gen. Shakil Ahmed, the commander of the guards, bringing the confirmed death toll to 66, fire official Mizanur Rahman said. Dozens more officers were missing.

 While newly elected Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ended the revolt in two days, persuading the mutinous guards to surrender through promises of amnesty coupled with threats of military force, the insurrection raised new questions about stability in this poor South Asian nation.

She said Friday that there would be no amnesty for the killers. And Dhaka's largest newspaper, the Daily Star, lauded Hasina in an editorial for "sagacious handling of the situation which resulted in the prevention of a further bloodbath."

But the bloodshed underlined the fragile relationship between Bangladesh's civilian leaders and the military, which has stepped in previously to quell what the generals considered dangerous political instability. The country only returned to democracy in January, two years after the army ousted the previous government amid rioting over disputed election results.

Hasina has a bitter history with the military. She is the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh's independence leader and its first head of state — from 1971 until a 1975 military coup killed him, his wife and three sons.

The rebellion in the Bangladesh Rifles border force paralyzed the capital and unsettled this nation of 150 million people.

"It's a setback for Sheikh Hasina's new government. It's now a test for her how she handles the military," political analyst Ataur Rahman said. "This tragic event will force her to divert her attention from consolidating democracy and boosting the economy to tackling the challenges of national security."

The army chief, Gen. Moeen U. Ahmed, met with Hasina at her home in Dhaka late Friday, apparently to discuss the situation.

"It's a national crisis," Ahmed told reporters. "The military will stand by the government."

Following the border guards' surrender Thursday, search teams moved into the sprawling Bangladesh Rifles compound that houses the guards and many of their families. They found the gruesome evidence of the killings the guards had tried to conceal.

One corner of the compound, nestled under the shade of coconut palms, held two mass graves where slain officers had been put into shallow holes and covered with mounds of dirt. Firefighters used crowbars to pry off manhole covers and recover more corpses stuffed into sewers.

"We are digging out dozens of decomposing bodies dumped into mass graves," army Brig. Gen. Abu Naim Shahidullah told the private NTV network. All the victims appeared to be officers and were wearing combat fatigues, he said.

Rescuers suspended the search at dusk, saying it was too dangerous to keep probing a compound littered with live ammunition and hand grenades.

"We don't want to take any chances," said Rahman, the firefighter official. "We need more time to complete the job."

After meeting with relatives of the dead officers, Hasina promised that amnesty would not apply to those responsible for the killings. "No one has the right to kill anyone," she said.

Security forces, who set up roadblocks across the country, arrested hundreds of border guards who tried to flee under cover of darkness, many of them wearing civilian clothes. It remained unclear whether the amnesty would apply to those guards who tried to flee.

The insurrection erupted from the guards' longtime frustrations that their pay hasn't kept pace with soldiers in the army — anger aggravated by the rise in food prices that has accompanied the global economic crisis. The guards earn about $100 a month.

The guards also didn't like the practice of appointing army officers to head the Bangladesh Rifles. Border guards also do not participate in U.N. peacekeeping missions, which bring additional pay.

Dozens of families — particularly those related to senior border guard officers — maintained a vigil outside the compound, waiting for news. But with only bodies emerging, their hopes faded.

"Let me talk to my father. Where is my father?" cried 10-year-old Mohammad Rakib, who accompanied his mother to the headquarters.

"We are waiting day and night here, but nobody can give us any news," said Sazzad Hossain, supporting his sister who was searching for her husband, Maj. Mamunur Rahman. "It's very difficult to make my sister understand, she is devastated. We know he is no more, we just want the body."
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Offline Yrys

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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2009, 13:08:01 »
Bangladesh becomes battle zone, Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Bangladesh guard mutiny 'spreads', Thursday, 26 February 2009
Bangladesh mutineers 'arrested', Friday, 27 February 2009
Bangladesh PM threatens mutineers, Friday, 27 February 2009
Bangladesh troops find mass grave, Friday, 27 February 2009
Media sympathy and anger at mutiny, Friday, 27 February 2009
Mutiny tests Hasina's mettle, Friday, 27 February 2009
New Bangladesh graves discovered, Saturday, 28 February 2009



Website of Bangladesh army



In pictures: Mutiny aftermath, 8 pictures


1.Firemen stand next to the bodies of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR)
personnel retrieved from a mass grave inside the BDR headquarters
after a mutiny by the border force was crushed by the army.


4.Firemen had the grim task of removing sewer covers
to look for dead soldiers. Among the bodies found was
that of Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed, who was chief of the BDR.



In pictures: Bangladesh graves, 6 pictures


6.The army's commander has said that all who died in the violence
will be buried with state honours.

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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2009, 13:37:52 »
Charges for Bangladesh mutineers, Sunday, 1 March 2009


Border guards were told to
report to their posts or face disciplinary action

Bangladesh police say they are charging more than 1,000 border guardsmen
in connection with a mutiny which left more than 140 people dead. The
charges include conspiracy to kill officers and civilians, using weapons and
explosives, creating panic, looting and trying to hide bodies.

The remains of more than 70 officers have still not yet been found days after
the violence in Dhaka.

The mutiny by the Bangladesh Rifles apparently began as a row over pay.
It ended in the massacre of 137 army officers and, it is feared, about 20
civilians including officers' wives, in the guards' headquarters in the capital.

Police have named six of the men they accuse of carrying out the mutiny.
The six were involved in negotiating the mutineers' surrender with Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina. The mutiny ended when the government threatened
to quell it by force.

The Bangladeshi government had offered the mutineers an amnesty but once
the scale of the massacre became apparent, it said those responsible would
be punished.

The army has said that those found guilty of murder will be executed.

'Rebel Hunt'

The police say they still do not have the names of more than 1,000 others,
who they believe were also involved. Several hundred guardsmen are now
in detention, but many others were able to escape.

The prime minister said she had asked the US FBI and the UK's Scotland
Yard for assistance
in the investigation into the mutiny and the killings.
Sheikh Hasina told parliament she had initiated a search operation codenamed
"Operation Rebel Hunt", AFP news agency reported.

Hundreds of guards began returning to their posts on Sunday after the mutiny
ended on Thursday. They had been given a 24-hour ultimatum to do so or face
disciplinary action.

After searches of the vast compound, bodies were found either buried in shallow
mass graves or dumped into the fast-flowing sewers below ground. Some charred
human bones have been found in the remains of a fire.

The army has postponed the funerals of those who died until all the bodies have
been found.



Thousands mourn officers in Dhaka, Monday, 2 March 2009


Monday's funeral was for about 50
officers who were killed

Thousands of mourners have attended a state funeral in Bangladesh's capital,
Dhaka, for army officers killed in last week's border guard mutiny. Relatives
travelled from all over the country and there were emotional scenes as buglers
played the Last Post.

More than 140 officers and 20 civilians are thought to have died in the mutiny.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered a manhunt for "1,000 guardsmen and
accomplices" believed to have escaped after the two-day mutiny.

The action by rank-and-file Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) guardsmen apparently began
as a row over pay.

Salute

The funeral was for almost 50 victims, including the commander-in-chief of the BDR ,
Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed, and his wife Nazneen. New President Zillur Rahman and army
chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed led the funeral at the national parade ground in Dhaka.
Thousands prayed and jets flew overhead in salute.

A wife of one dead officer told Reuters news agency: "He has paid so dearly for all the
good services rendered to the country. I only pray he gets justice from God and peace
in heaven." The flag-draped coffins were later carried to a graveyard near military
headquarters for burial.

Meanwhile the government has stepped up the hunt for the guardsmen who fled the
mutiny. Speaking in parliament on Sunday night, Sheikh Hasina said the deadline of
1600 local time (1000 GMT) to surrender had passed and she had "summoned the army
and other forces to hunt them".

Soldiers have fanned out across the nation to help police track down fugitives in a
search operation codenamed Operation Rebel Hunt.  Home Minister Shahara Khatun
said the soldiers would stay "as long as necessary" to help police. Sheikh Hasina said
she had asked the FBI and Scotland Yard for assistance in the investigation. She said
that nearly 700 soldiers of the Bangladesh Rifles were already in detention.

They had laid down their guns on Thursday after the prime minister promised to send
tanks in to crush their revolt. They also include six guardsmen who went to the PM's
office initially to negotiate the mutineers' surrender. Charges include conspiracy to kill
officers and civilians, using weapons and explosives, creating panic, looting and trying
to hide bodies.

The BBC's Mark Dummett, in Dhaka, says the fugitive border guards can expect little
mercy from the army.

Mutilated

About 180 officers were present at the BDR annual meeting when the mutiny broke out -
only 33 are known to have survived. The bodies of 70 officers have been discovered
so far, many of them mutilated after being shot.

Correspondents say the remains of the other 70 or so have probably either been burned
or dumped in fast-flowing sewers. Some of the officers' wives were also killed.

The government had offered the mutineers an amnesty but once the scale of the massacre
became apparent, it said those responsible would be punished. The army has said that
those found guilty of murder will be executed.
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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2009, 23:57:31 »
Bangladesh cuts mutiny death toll

Bangladeshi officials now say 74 people died in last week's border guard mutiny -
halving previous estimates of deaths.

The bodies of 56 officers had been found and seven were still missing, a senior
army official said. Civilians were also killed in the violence. Thousands attended
state funerals for almost 50 victims of the violence in the capital Dhaka on Monday.

The BBC's Mark Dummett in Dhaka says the army has not yet explained how the
toll was so badly misjudged. On Saturday, the head of Bangladesh's military
intelligence said 70 officers had been killed and 72 were still missing. But two days
later, the army's chief of staff, Lt Gen Sinha Ibne Jamali, said that figure was incorrect,
and only seven officers were still unaccounted for.

Mr Jamali said it had taken time to gather all the correct information about casualty
figures but did not explain how the army had made such a mistake. Over the past few
days, officials have also given conflicting figures for the number of suspected mutineers -
anything from 20 to 15,000, our correspondent says.

On Sunday, the police said more than 1,000 men were being charged, but admitted that
they did not know their names.

Manhunt

Funerals were held on Monday for almost 50 victims of the mutiny, including the
commander-in-chief of the BDR, Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed, and his wife Nazneen.
New President Zillur Rahman and army chief Gen Moeen U Ahmed led the funeral
at the national parade ground in Dhaka, where jets flew overhead. Relatives travelled
from all over the country and there were emotional scenes as buglers played the
Last Post.

Meanwhile the government has stepped up the hunt for the guardsmen who fled the
mutiny. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ordered a manhunt for "1,000 guardsmen
and accomplices" believed to have escaped after the two-day mutiny. Soldiers have
fanned out across the nation to help police track down fugitives in a search operation
codenamed Operation Rebel Hunt.

Home Minister Shahara Khatun said the soldiers would stay "as long as necessary" to
help police. Sheikh Hasina said she had asked the FBI and Scotland Yard for assistance
in the investigation. She said that nearly 700 soldiers of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR)
were already in detention.

They had laid down their guns on Thursday after the prime minister promised to send in
tanks to crush their revolt. They also include six guardsmen who went to the PM's office
initially to negotiate the mutineers' surrender. Charges include conspiracy to kill officers
and civilians, using weapons and explosives, creating panic, looting and trying to hide bodies.

Our correspondent says the fugitive border guards can expect little mercy from the army.

Bodies dumped

The action by rank-and-file BDR troops apparently began as a row over pay.

About 180 officers were present at the BDR annual meeting when the mutiny broke out.
Many of bodies discovered so far had been mutilated after being shot; some of the
officers' wives were also killed. A handful of civilians were also caught in crossfire.

Correspondents say the remains of the missing officers have probably either been
burned or dumped in fast-flowing sewers.

The government had offered the mutineers an amnesty but once the scale of the
massacre became apparent, it said those responsible would be punished. The army
has said that those found guilty of murder will be executed.
Louvre website

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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2009, 11:16:47 »
Bangladesh police hold 'mutineer'


The army is launching an investigation
into the mutiny

Police in Bangladesh have arrested the alleged leader of a mutiny staged by border guards
last week which left 74 people dead, police officials say.

Syed Tauhidul Alam was the "ringleader" behind the mutiny and was arrested along with at
least four other men in a Dhaka slum, the officials said. The authorities are still searching
for more than 1,000 border guards who have been charged with murder.

Funerals were held on Monday for almost 50 victims of the mutiny. It was staged by men of
the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) - a border security force - many of whose 70,000 personnel
were reportedly unhappy over their pay, conditions and promotion prospects. The bodies of
56 officers have so far been found and seven are still missing, a senior army official said.
Civilians were also killed in the violence.

'Ringleader'

"Intelligence and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) officers have arrested Tauhidul Alam following
a raid in the capital. He is the prime accused in the events at the Bangladesh Rifles
headquarters last week," RAB spokesman M Kamruzzaman told the AFP news agency. "Alam
was the ringleader of the mutineers. The four others arrested by our officers have also been
named in the case."

Correspondents say that Mr Alam led a small group of mutineers who held negotiations with
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to bring an end to the 33-hour mutiny on Thursday. During that
meeting the prime minister issued an amnesty for those mutineers who surrendered. Soon
afterwards they were seen laying down their weapons allegedly on the orders of Mr Alam,
who was reportedly an assistant director in the BDR.

Earlier officials clarified that 74 people died in the mutiny - halving previous estimates of deaths.
Thousands attended state funerals for almost 50 victims of the violence in the capital Dhaka on
Monday.

The BBC's Mark Dummett in Dhaka says the army has not yet explained how the toll was so badly
misjudged.
Louvre website

"Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind."  Marcel Proust

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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2009, 15:09:18 »
'Top mutineer' held in Bangladesh, BBC News, Tuesday, 3 March 2009


The army is launching an investigation
into the mutiny

Police in Bangladesh say they have arrested the alleged leader of a mutiny staged by border guards
last week which left 74 people dead. Syed Tauhidul Alam was the "ringleader" behind the mutiny and
was arrested along with at least four other men in a Dhaka slum, the officials said.

The authorities are still searching for more than 1,000 border guards who have been charged with
murder. Funerals were held on Monday for almost 50 victims of the mutiny.

It was staged by men of the 70,000-strong Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) border security force. At the time,
the mutineers said their revolt was over pay and working conditions but the government now says it
was part of a wider conspiracy aimed at destabilising Bangladesh.

The bodies of 56 officers have so far been found and seven are still missing, a senior army official
said. Civilians were also killed in the violence.

'Ringleader'

"Intelligence and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) officers have arrested Tauhidul Alam following a raid
in the capital. He is the prime accused in the events at the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters last week,"
RAB spokesman M Kamruzzaman told the AFP news agency. "Alam was the ringleader of the
mutineers. The four others arrested by our officers have also been named in the case."

Correspondents say that Mr Alam led a small group of mutineers who held negotiations with Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina to bring an end to the 33-hour mutiny on Thursday. During that meeting the
prime minister issued an amnesty for those mutineers who surrendered. Soon afterwards they were
seen laying down their weapons allegedly on the orders of Mr Alam, who was reportedly an assistant
director in the BDR.

Earlier officials clarified that 74 people died in the mutiny - halving previous estimates of deaths.
Thousands attended state funerals for almost 50 victims of the violence in the capital Dhaka on
Monday.

The BBC's Mark Dummett in Dhaka says the army has not yet explained how the toll was so badly
misjudged. Two different investigations are now underway, one headed by the government, the
other by the army.

Relations between the two have been weakened by the events of the last week as many in the
army are angry with the prime minister for her handling of the crisis, our correspondent says.
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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2009, 15:10:24 »
Bangladesh imposes YouTube block, BBC News, Monday, 9 March 2009


Soldiers search border guards
returning for duty in Dhaka

The video-sharing web site YouTube has been blocked by Bangladesh after a recording of a meeting
between the PM and army officers was posted.

The meeting took place two days after a mutiny by border guards in Dhaka that left more than 70
people dead. The recordings cover about 40 minutes of a three-hour meeting and reveal how angry
many in the military were at the government's handling of the crisis.

YouTube had been blocked in the "national interest", officials said.

Hundreds of guardsmen have been arrested in connection with the mutiny but hundreds more are
still being sought.


Jeered

The chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, Zia Ahmed, said
the decision to block access to YouTube, and another website, esnips, was taken because the
audio recordings they hosted threatened to worsen the current situation. "The government can
take any decision to stop any activity that threatens national unity and integrity," he said.

The government has not said when the sites will be unblocked.

The meeting in question took place after the mutiny in the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters
two weeks ago had collapsed. Some 54 army officers were among those killed. Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina agreed to talk to officers to persuade them that her strategy to end the mutiny
had worked and had in fact minimised casualties.

"We want answers," some of the officers, who numbered more than 2,000, shouted at Sheikh
Hasina. Her attempts to speak are often jeered and drowned out.


Sheikh Hasina has been both praised
and criticised over the mutiny

The BBC's Mark Dummett in Dhaka says there had been anger in the army over the government's
decision to negotiate with the mutineers, rather than immediately sending in troops to crush their
revolt. Many in the army believe the move gave the border guards more time to kill the officers
and rape their wives.

One officer at the meeting tells the prime minister: "I do not understand who gave you that idea
that it has to be solved politically... rebellion has to be crushed with force. "But you have not done
that... politics is not applicable everywhere... if one tank would have gone there or a commando
platoon landed there, the [BDR] would have fled like ants... but none went... all my officers were
killed helplessly… and you failed to do anything."

Our correspondent says that outside the army, many in Bangladesh believe she handled the crisis
well, though her government has undoubtedly been shaken and relations with the army remain low.
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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2009, 15:11:25 »
'Militant link' to Dhaka mutiny, BBC News, Thursday, 12 March 2009

The government minister co-ordinating the inquiry into a mutiny by Bangladesh border guards
has said he believes Islamic militants were involved. More than 74 people were killed in the
violence, mostly senior army officers.

The government says investigators have now uncovered a link between the mutineers and a
militant group responsible for a series of bombings.


"We are asking why these
kinds of people were recruited
to the BDR"
Commerce Minister Farukh Khan

Commerce Minister Farukh Khan said some of those arrested had links to the Jumatul Mujahedeen
Bangladesh (JMB). Mr Khan is co-ordinating the separate inquiries being carried out by the
government, the army and the police.

The BBC's Mark Dummett in Dhaka say that the JMB in its most daring attack detonated 400 bombs
on the same day in 2005.


Weapons 'missing'

In an interview with the AFP news agency, the minister said that the link to the JMB had been made
during the interrogation of the 40 soldiers of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) border force who had now
been arrested. "We have found in the process of examining their files that some of them have links
to the JMB," he said. "The suspects were BDR troops. We are asking why these kinds of people were
recruited to the BDR.

"There are a number of figures we have not been able to finalise yet, including the exact death toll,
how many people were involved, and how many ran away," Mr Khan said, adding that many weapons
were missing from the BDR base.

In total the police have issued more than 1,000 arrest warrants for men allegedly involved in the
revolt and the deaths which followed. On Wednesday, detectives from Britain's Scotland Yard
arrived in Bangladesh to help investigate the mutiny. The four-member police team was invited by
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and will work with local and US detectives.

Sheikh Hasina has said last month's mutiny was part of a conspiracy to bring down her new
government.

On Wednesday the authorities said they had identified some of those who carried out the killings
from among mutineers being held. Law minister Shafique Ahmed has said there may be special
tribunals or courts martial for the mutineers. Charges already drawn up include conspiracy to kill
officers and civilians, using weapons and explosives, creating panic, looting and trying to hide
bodies.
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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2009, 16:22:34 »
Bangladeshi Premier Faces a Grim Crucible, NY Times, March 13, 2009


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called a mutiny “a big conspiracy” against her agenda
to establish a secular democracy.

DHAKA, Bangladesh
Sheikh Hasina survived when gunmen executed her father and extended family late
one summer night in 1975. She survived again when assassins hurled 13 grenades
at her political rally in 2004, killing two dozen people.

Today, about two months into her tenure as prime minister of this fractious, poor and
coup-prone country, she confronts her greatest crucible yet: an  by border guards last
month that left soldiers buried in mass graves and widened the gulf between her fragile
administration and the military. Altogether, 74 people were killed, mostly army officers
in command of the border force.

Two separate investigations are under way to identify those responsible: one by the army,
another by Mrs. Hasina’s government. Whether either will yield credible results is unknown.
Mrs. Hasina’s fate and the stability of the country depend on the outcome.

In an interview this week, Mrs. Hasina called the mutiny “a big conspiracy” against her agenda
to establish a secular democracy in this Muslim-majority nation of 150 million. She struck a
note of defiant resolve. “No one will stop me,” she said. “I will continue.” Then she raised her
eyebrows and offered a hint of a smile. “We have to unearth all these conspiracies.”

Mrs. Hasina, 61, has the air of a strict grandmother. She speaks softly. She wears traditional
Bengali saris that cover her head. Her eyes are a cool gray. She said she was keen to hunt
down and punish those responsible for the mutiny. She suggested that several factions unhappy
with her agenda could have been responsible, including Islamist militants, whom she has vowed
to crush.

“There are many elements,” she said in her first extensive interview since the Feb. 25 siege.
“These terrorist groups are very much active. This incident gives us a lesson. It can happen
again.”

After two years of army-backed rule in the country, Mrs. Hasina’s won a resounding majority
of the parliamentary seats in elections last December, after campaigning on a slate of
provocative promises. She said she would root out Islamist guerillas, put on trial those suspected
of conspiring against Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971, nurture friendly relations
with India and stop anti-Indian insurgents from using Bangladeshi soil to launch attacks against
New Delhi.

The election drew a turnout of around 80 percent and was cited as among the most credible and
least violent here in recent years. Then came the massacre.

On the last Wednesday in February, at the headquarters of the border patrol, known as the (?),
a guard pointed his weapon at the force commander. Some commotion ensued, according to
investigators, and then other guards stormed the hall. Gunfire could be heard blocks away.
Hundreds of civilians who lived, worked and went to school inside the compound were trapped.

Mrs. Hasina allowed the army to take position around the compound but not to storm it. She
negotiated with the mutineers for the next 36 hours, first directly and then through emissaries.
She offered a general amnesty and promised to address the rebels’ grievances. On the second
day, when they refused to surrender, she threatened to send in tanks. By the time the siege
ended, more than 6,000 border guards had escaped, and an unknown quantity of weapons had
been taken from the armory.

As the bodies of the dead soldiers were discovered, the horrific nature of the violence became
evident. Some army officers had been shot at close range and then stabbed repeatedly with
bayonets. Eyes were gouged out. A stack of 38 bodies was found in a mass grave.

No sooner did the siege end than the arguments began. Today, the bitter points of contention are
whether the army commanders were killed before or after negotiations began (the time of death
has not yet been established for all the victims), whether Mrs. Hasina pressed to know the scale
of the killings before offering amnesty, and, most important, why she did not permit the army to
storm the compound early on.

“The government was not in charge,” said Abdur Razzak, a leader of the conservative 
Jamaat-e-Islamiparty.
“This was an army problem. The army should have solved it in their wisdom.”

Mr. Razzak said the mutiny was a conspiracy designed “to weaken the army, to weaken
the state.”  Mr. Razzak’s party was trounced in the last election; its share of the 300
elected seats in Parliament fell to 2 from 17 in the December elections.

Mrs. Hasina said sending in the army would have resulted in a bloodbath and risked a
potential conflict between the 46 border guard battalions scattered across the country
and their army commanders.

In any case, few in Bangladesh say they believe that the mutiny was what it first appeared:
a rebellion of rank-and-file border guards aggrieved by their commanders, their pay and
their working conditions. In a country where conspiracy theories are a national sport, the
mutiny has become a screen onto which many anxieties are projected.

Some point to terrorist groups and anti-Indian insurgents. Others say that it was fueled by
intelligence agencies in either India or Pakistan — both countries have been alternately
friend and foe to Bangladesh. There are those who suggest that it could involve politicians
who lost the last election, while others blame people within Mrs. Hasina’s party whose goal
is to keep the army in check.

The truth of what happened may never be known. Bangladesh holds many mysteries in its
heart, including the question of who ordered the killing of Mrs. Hasina’s father, Sheik Mujibur
Rahman, a former prime minister. Mrs. Hasina was spared only because she had been visiting
her husband in Europe at the time. Eighteen members of her family, including her brothers and
their wives, were executed.

Central to Mrs. Hasina’s survival today is keeping the military on her side. Her face-off with
the army came into sharp focus three days after the mutiny ended when she confronted an
unusually rowdy room of army officers. They berated her for not allowing the army to ake
charge early on. The screaming match was recorded and put up on YouTube, shocking the
nation.

This week, in the interview, Mrs. Hasina said she sympathized with the soldiers’ grief even
as she cautioned them against taking revenge — or power. So far, the army does not seem
interested. Mrs. Hasina’s most deadly enemies have been the Islamist militant groups that
have put down roots here in recent years. They have been implicated in assassination attempts
against her, including the grenade attack on her political meeting in August 2004. Mrs. Hasina
lost some of her hearing as a result of that attack. Sitting under a framed portrait of her father,
she said she would not be bowed.

“If I am afraid for my life, the whole nation will be afraid,” she said. “I know some bullets, some
grenades are chasing me.”
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"Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind."  Marcel Proust

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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2009, 09:55:56 »
Bangladesh mutiny deaths probed, Thursday, 21 May 2009 09:52 UK


Bodies of some of the mutiny victims
were pulled from sewers


Bangladesh has ordered an inquiry into the deaths of 21 border guards who were held in custody
after a mutiny in February that killed nearly 100 people.

The investigation will be led by a senior civil servant and will establish the causes of the "unnatural
deaths", officials said. The investigators have been asked to submit a report within 15 days.

The army said last month that most of those who died either committed suicide or died from heart
attacks or diseases. The deaths in custody have been strongly criticised by rights groups including
Human Rights Watch.

About 3,000 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) members have been detained following the two-day mutiny
at the regiment's headquarters in Dhaka. Dozens of soldiers were killed in the mutiny, allegedly
by members of the BDR, the paramilitary unit responsible for guarding the country's borders.

The mutiny was over pay, conditions and advancement.

'Confident'

The government has told the investigators they must determine the number, name, designation
and address of BDR personnel who died in custody and find out the causes of their deaths. The
probe has been told to make recommendations for preventing similar suicides and unnatural
deaths in the future.

Last month the head of the BDR, Maj Gen Moinul Islam, told the BBC that if there was any
evidence of wrongdoing he was "fully confident that police and other investigating authorities
will be fully able fairly to investigate the matter". A BDR statement released at that time said
some BDR soldiers "connected with the mutiny are committing suicide which is quite unexpected".
Gen Islam said that morale in the BDR was improving.

Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch, told the AFP news agency that the official
causes of death - the most recent of which occurred last week - were questionable. "I have never
heard, in all of the countries I have worked in, of so many deaths in custody in such a short period
of time," he said. "There is no reason to believe at face value any of these deaths are from natural
causes or suicide. We are extremely concerned about ongoing torture and lack of access to the detainees."
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Re: Border guard mutiny in Bangladesh - BBC News
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2009, 21:20:38 »
 Dhaka mutiny 'due to poor pay', 27 May 2009

An official inquiry into a mutiny by Bangladeshi border guards in February has attributed it to years
of pent-up anger over ignored pleas for pay rises. It says that members of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR)
also wanted better treatment from their army commanders.

The report was commissioned by the government and released on Wednesday. It is the first full
investigation into the 25 February uprising by rank-and-file BDR personnel, which resulted in the
deaths of nearly 100 people.

'Well-planned'

The head of the inquiry, Anisuzzaman Khan, said there was "no direct involvement by militants or terrorists"
in the mutiny. "There was some anger among the BDR troops over the way their seniors from the army
were living," Mr Khan said. "There was a perception that they lived in luxury while the BDR soldiers had
poor pay. It all burst out on that day." Most senior officers in the BDR, which mostly patrols Bangladesh's
border with India and Burma, are seconded from the army.

Mr Khan said that BDR soldiers - who earn about $70 a month - had long complained about their poor
treatment by "corrupt" senior army officers, which he said sparked off the "well-planned" February
events. "They complained about their salary structure and not being able to get promotions the way
their army counterparts can, and jobs as UN peacekeepers abroad," he said, recommending that the
corruption allegations should be investigated. Home Minister Sahara Khatun said the release of the
report was "historic", because "previous governments have never made such reports public before".

A separate inquiry was also ordered last week into the deaths of 21 border guards who were held
in custody after the mutiny. It will be led by a senior civil servant and will establish the causes of
the "unnatural deaths", officials said.

The army said last month that most of those who died either committed suicide or died from heart
attacks or diseases. The deaths in custody have been strongly criticised by rights groups including
Human Rights Watch. About 3,000 BDR members have been detained following the two-day mutiny
at the regiment's headquarters in Dhaka.


Report: Suspected leader of Bangladesh border guards' mutiny confessed, June 07, 2009, PEOPLE DAILY ONLINE

The prime suspect in Bangladesh border guards' mutiny on Feb. 25-26, Touhidul Alam, on Saturday
confessed to have taken the leadership of the mutiny, leading English-language newspaper The Daily
Star reported on Sunday.

Alam, a deputy assistant director of the paramilitary border force Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), was
alleged to be the leader of the about 33-hour mutiny at the BDR headquarters in capital Dhaka,
which left some 74 people including 57 army officers dead. The newspaper said Alam on Saturday
confessed before magistrate of a Dhaka court to have led the planning of the BDR mutiny and all
operations during the killings.

BDR members staged mutiny against their commanding officers deputed from the army on Feb. 25
morning at the BDR headquarters. The mutiny ended on Feb. 26 with the surrender of the mutineers.
Bangladesh Police on March 1 sued Alam and five others as well as 1,000 unnamed BDR members,
on charges including treason, killing army officers, arson, looting and holding people.

The Daily Star quoting police sources said Alam admitted that he had taken the leadership as mutinous
BDR members gave him the responsibility while the sources termed the confession a big step forward
in the investigation. Alam, who had led a team of 14 mutineers to the talks with the Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina on Feb. 25 to get general amnesty, also said he knew that the army officers were already killed
but he did not reveal the information during the talks. Alam tops the list of 24 people named as planners
and implementers of the mutiny in the summary of a government's probe report released last month,
the newspaper said.

According to the report, negative impression among general BDR members against their army officers
and grievances for non-fulfillment of their demands were primarily identified as the causes of the mutiny.
The BDR, with 67,000 members, is a paramilitary force guarding the country's long border line of 4,427 km
with India and Myanmar. Most of its senior commanding officers were from the army.



Bangladesh adopts new time rules
The Bangladesh government has agreed to adopt daylight saving time (DST),
responding to calls from business.

Concern over Bangladesh refugees
Thousands of unregistered Rohingya refugees are at risk of being forcibly removed
from a makeshift camp in Bangladesh, an aid agency says. In a statement released
to co-incide with World Refugee Day on Saturday, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)
says that these Rohingyas are being abused.

Louvre website

"Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind."  Marcel Proust