Friday, March 1, 2024

JS debates BDR carnage

UNB, Dhaka
Lawmakers Sunday spent much time on what could be the better option-political or military-to end the mutiny at the BDR headquarters as parliament condoled on the death of army officers in the carnage.
Treasury-bench members appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for choosing the path of peaceful political solution of the February 25-26 mutiny to avert more casualties.
Opposition BNP members, however, felt that negotiated resolution was a delayed process causing the casualties to go up.
The difference of opinion came during emotive discussions on an obituary reference to the army officers in BDR command killed during the mutiny at the paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles Headquarters.
Many members observed that the BDR incident was an outcome of a conspiracy from outside to weaken the Bangladesh military, which must be investigated.
All members expressed unanimous opinion on transparent investigation and tough punishment to the culprits so that such dastardly incident cannot take place in the future.
Ruling grand alliance members Abdur Razzak, Suranjit Sengupta, Abdul Jalil, Commerce Minister Col (retd) Farooq Khan, Civil Aviation Minister GM Qader, Rashed Khan Menon, Mirza Azam, State Minister for LGRD Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Sheikh Selim, Maj Gen (retd) Subed Ali Bhuiyan and Hasanul Huq Inu and BNP members MK Anwar, Nurul Islam Manju, Shaheed Uddin Chowdhury Anny and Abul Khair Bhuiyan, Opposition Chief Whip Joynul Abedin Farook and Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon and Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad and Ruhul Amin Howlader spoke on the condolence motion as the discussion continued till 7:30pm.
The members from the both sides offered profound condolences for those army officers killed in the mutiny and called for an extensive inquiry to identify and punish the killers and their provocateurs.
They stressed national unity at the critical time of the nation transcending party politics.
Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia were present during the solemn-and sometimes sultry-discussions in the House.
Col (retd) Farooq praised the Prime Minister for her wisdom used to put down the mutiny quickly, saving lives of many hostage officers, their relations and civilians inside the besieged BDR headquarters.
Responding to critics that army crackdown on BDR mutineers could save more lives, Farooq said, “Any army operation in the built-in area always could cause more casualties.”
Citing military operation at Golden Temple in the Punjab, Indian Parliament and Mumbai terrorist attacks and Lal Masjid in Pakistan, he said those military operations caused a huge loss of life.
Maj Gen (retd) Subid Ali Bhuiyan also supported Col (rtd) Farooq in pursuing negotiated settlement instead of military solution of the BDR mutiny. He referred to a mutiny in 1996 which was resolved with bloodshed.
JP Chairman and former military ruler HM Ershad said being an army chief for eight years it seemed to him that timely intervention could have saved lives and prestige of some women. However, he said the Prime Minister has done the right thing in putting an end to the trouble.
He said, “If the BDR incident is called mutiny, then it should be disbanded the way two units of the army were disbanded in the past for staging mutiny.”
Sheikh Selim observed that during the mutiny, some youngsters arrived at the scene with a pickup jeep reportedly loaded with ammunition from outside.
He said, “Those who staged the revolt looked young soldiers recruited during the BNP-Jamaat rule that politicized every institution, including the BDR.”
He added: “It needs to be investigated whether those rebels belong to BNP or Jamaat or the 4-party alliance. The investigation must unveil it.”
BNP vice-chairman MK Anwar said those who sent SMS to BDR rebels not to surrender, as per some ruling- party members’ statements about a pickup van loaded with ammunition that went to the troubled headquarters, should be unveiled.
He also questioned how so many BDR personnel could leave the headquarters taking off their uniforms after surrendering their arms.
Opposition chief whip Joynul Abedin Farook was critical of the government for taking extra time in resolving the problem that he said cost more lives. He questioned the role of intelligence agencies.
He said, “The problem could be resolved if the government had sought help of all political parties in ending the conflict quickly.”
JP leader Ruhul Amin Howalder also corroborated this view that the government could deal with such a critical issue with “all-party initiatives”.

Courtesy of

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