Sunday, April 14, 2024

Govt recasts probe body as Operation Rebel Hunt begins

Staff Correspondent

A huge number of firearms and ammunition recovered from the BDR headquarters in Dhaka are put on display on Monday. — Sanaul Haque
A huge number of firearms and ammunition recovered from the BDR headquarters in Dhaka are put on display on Monday. — Sanaul Haque

The government has reconstituted the committee to investigate the February 25–26 rebellion of soldiers in the BDR headquarters as countrywide army troop deployment began on Monday to capture the rebels still in hiding, officials said.
The home minister, Sahara Khatun, has been replaced as the committee head with a retired secretary, Anisuzzaman Khan, for an independent investigation of the rebellion in which several scores of army officers were killed.
The home affairs ministry on Monday issued an official order reconstituting the investigation committee, which was instituted on Friday.
The 11-member fresh committee consisting of the law secretary, additional secretary of the home ministry, Bangladesh Rifles director general, representatives of the Cabinet Division, Armed Forces Division, Prime Minister’s Office and the police has been asked to submit the report on the rebellion in seven days.
The judge advocate general at the army headquarters has also been included in the committee, the order said.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, after a meeting with senior army officials at Senakunja in the Dhaka cantonment on Sunday, informed the parliament of the government decision to reconstitute the investigation committee. She earlier formed a six-member committee headed by the home minister.
The committee has been asked to find out the reasons behind the rebellion and give a background and description of the incidents with recommendations on related issues.
The home ministry on Sunday requested the Armed Forces Division for troop deployment in aid of civil administration to arrest the BDR rebels and recover the firearms missing from the paramilitary force headquarters.
The government on Saturday decided to hold speedy trial of the people involved in the killing of the army officers. It is also planning amendments to laws to set up a special tribunal to try the perpetrators.
The authorities have so far found 70 bodies — of officers, soldiers and civilians — in and around the headquarters. Three civilians wounded in the first-day firing later also died in hospital.
Seven army officers deputed to the Bangladesh Rifles were still missing, according to the army.
The authorities on Monday launched Operation Rebel Hunt, with the deployment of Armed Forces personnel across the country, to capture the rebel soldiers still in hiding.
The operation is also aimed at recovering firearms missing from the BDR headquarters.
‘The troops will be in the field as long as they are required to capture the rebels in hiding,’ the home minister told reporters at the secretariat. She said the army would be assisting the police and the Rapid Action Battalion in the operation.
Troops have, meanwhile, been deployed in all district headquarters for the operation. The trial process of the rebels involved in killing during the rebellion will also continue, official sources said.
The government charged more than 1,000 BDR soldiers, of which only six were named, on Monday. More than 450 rebels are now in custody, according to the prime minister.
The search teams, led by army, on Monday seized a huge quantity of arms and ammunition left abandoned by the rebels who looted the armouries in the BDR headquarters.
As for death of the civilians, an official concerned at the home ministry said the investigation would cover everything, including the killing of the civilians during the rebellion.
‘The next step will be taken in line with the recommendations of the committee,’ he said.
The home ministry in another circular on the day requested all concerned to inform nearby police stations if they had any information on the rebellion or any rebels in hiding.

Courtesy of www.newagebd.com

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