Saturday, June 15, 2024

All 111 soldiers jailed in first Dhaka verdict

One hundred and eleven soldiers of the records wing of the Border Guard Bangladesh, formerly Bangladesh Rifles, were on Tuesday sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for varying terms on charges of the February 25–26, 2009 mutiny in the border guards’ headquarters in Dhaka.
The special court 9 of the Border Guard Bangladesh, chaired by the force’s Dhaka sector commander Colonel Habibul Karim, also fined the convicts Tk 100 each.
This was the first verdict in a case filed on mutiny charges in Dhaka after the 2009 rebellion. Trial of 10 more cases against 3,959 soldiers of 10 units of the Dhaka sector and the BGB headquarters are going on.
The court pronounced the verdict in the makeshift courtroom in the Durbar Hall where the rebellion broke out on February 25, 2009.
Of the 111 soldiers, 43 were given the highest punishment — rigorous imprisonment for seven years under Bangladesh Rifles Order 1972. No one was acquitted of the charges.
Ten were jailed for six years and six months, 9 for six years, 10 for five years and six months, 4 for five years, 1 for four years and six months, 5 for four years, 16 for three years and six months, 6 for three years and 7 for two years and six months.
The court ordered execution of the sentences from February 1 in civil prisons.
Habibul Karim in his 15 minutes speech before pronouncing the verdict said that the court had upheld Article 45 and 152 of the constitution to maintain discipline in the 215-year-old paramilitary force.
The court has also considered the socio-economic conditions of the accused, their previous behaviour and performance in service, the court said adding that it had also given special consideration to the soldiers who are from the family of freedom fighters.
Habibul said that the court had recorded depositions of 48 prosecution witnesses in nine working days and three defence witnesses in a working day and heard the arguments in five days.
Although the accused named 11 people as defence witnesses, only three of them turned up.
Two other judges of the court were Lieutenant Colonel Nasimul Alam and Major Ali Mustain Khan.
Deputy attorney general Mostafa Zaman Islam assisted the court as the representative of the attorney general.
Prosecutor of the case Lieutenant Colonel Mizanur Rahman, five lawyers appointed by the accused to assist them and a BGB official, designated by the court to assist the accused, were present when the verdict was pronounced. The accused were in the dock, handcuffed, in shackles and in civil dress.
Fifty-four of the soldiers were charged with disobeying the command of the then BDR director general, major general Shakil Ahmed, and leaving the Durbar Hall during the annual congress on February 25, 2009, the first day of the rebellion in which 75 people, including 57 army officers, were killed.
The charges brought against other soldiers included leaving the Durbar Hall showing solidarity with the mutineers, rising in arms, staying inactive by not preventing the mutiny, and failing to control unruly subordinates.
Besides the 111 sentenced on the day, 3,959 more soldiers of 11 units of the Dhaka sector and the headquarters are under trial.
This was the 18th verdict in the cases field across the country in connection with the rebellion. The day’s verdict took to 675 the number of BGB soldiers sentenced on mutiny charges so far.
The first verdict in mutiny cases was pronounced in Panchagarh on April 7, 2010.  Twenty-nine soldiers of the 25 Battalion were jailed.
Later in 2010, special courts sentenced 50 soldiers of the 20 Battalion on April 12 in Thakurgaon, 57 soldiers of the 9 Battalion on April 18 in Feni, 56 soldiers of the 7 Battalion of Nildumur at Shyamnagar on April 19 in Satkhira, 9 soldiers of 12 Battalion of Langadu in Rangamati on May 2, 35 soldiers of 10 Battalion’s Bolipara camp on November 9 in Bandarban, 23 solders of the 31 Battalion on November 23 in Lalmonirhat, 20 soldiers of the 3 Battalion on December 23 in Jaipurhat, 39 soldiers of the 21 Battalion on December 29 in Sylhet, 59 of the 38 Battalion on December 30 in Sylhet and 29 of the 1 Battalion on December 31 in Brahmanbaria.
In 2011, the courts jailed 35 soldiers of the 15 Battalion of Naikhyangchari on January 3 in Bandarban, 23 soldiers of the 40 Battalion of Phulbari on January 16 in Dinajpur, 25 soldiers of the 43 battalion on January 24 in Naogaon and 61 soldiers of the Sylhet sector Sadar battalion on January 31 in Sylhet.
The courts have so far acquitted 18 soldiers of the charges — one in Thakurgaon, five in Feni, four in Satkhira, one in Lalmonirhat and five in Sylhet.

 

Via: New Age

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