Friday, June 14, 2024

A dark chapter

Pronouncement of the verdict on BDR carnage case is no doubt a step forward to make the nation free from a stigma that had been haunting for over four years.
The BDR carnage that left 74 people, including 57 top and mid-ranking army officers, killed by rebel BDR personnel is perhaps one of the darkest chapters in the world history. The 36-hour long mutiny that started at around 10 am in the Durbar hall of the BDR headquarters at Pilkhana in the capital on 25 February 2009 shook the nation.
The news was flashed across the country via electronic media within an hour followed by incidents full of suspense. There were rumours of killing of army officers but nothing could be proved.
In the afternoon, a team of 14 BDR men went to the residence of PM and after discussion that lasted about two and half hours prime minister declared general amnesty. But the mutiny did not end immediately as the BDR personnel denied to surrender. The then home minister along with some ruling party officials visited the BDR headquarters and rescued some family members of army officers.
On the next day army personnel took position near the BDR headquarters and in the evening the mutineers surrendered.
The gravity of the carnage and brutality unfolded immediately after the end of the mutiny. The cruelty of the perpetrators was mindless, beyond human imagination.
The verdict on the BDR killing case was handed down on Tuesday, much to the relief. But at same time many questions remain unanswered as Meherunnesa Ferdous, wife of late Col Mujib, rightly pointed out.
The nation should know what the real motive was and who were the masterminds behind the massacre, she told newspersons immediately after the verdict.
The carnage took place immediately after the Awami League-led government took over through a general election that followed a two-year long military-backed rule.
Definitely it was a challenge for the government as well as for the democracy. The BDR mutiny ended apparently through negotiation but the debate continues.
Since the unfolding of the carnage, the opposition time and again has been arguing that the government should have gone for military operation.
‘Many officers’ lives could have been saved had the prompt action been taken,” BNP chairperson herself said many times.
On the other hand, the prime minister several times alleged that the opposition leader was in hiding leaving her cantonment residence during the mutiny. The prime minister also said that she tried to contact Khaelda for consultation over the crisis but she could not trace the opposition leader.
There are naturally counter arguments from the ruling party and the opposition over the allegations of their opponents but people of the country, like Mrs Mujib, do not want to see the blame-game. They want to know who the masterminds are and what the real motive was.
Interestingly the judge while delivering verdict himself mentioned about some possibilities.
According to him, there might be an external conspiracy to destroy the morale of a disciplined force, it might be an attempt to defame the disciplined force, there might be a political motive to turn the army into a force devoid of prestige.

-With The Independent input

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