Dhaka—A special court of Bangladesh’s border guards Thursday sentenced 59 personnel of the paramilitary force to different terms of rigorous imprisonment for the February 2009 mutiny involvement. The 10th verdict involved charges linked to Border Guard Bangladesh or BGB (previously known as Bangladesh Rifles or BDR) mutiny on Feb. 25-26, 2009, which took place in BDR headquarters in capital Dhaka and spread to many other stations of the force across the country.
The special court also fined 100 taka (1.43 U.S. dollars) for each of the 59 soldiers of 38 Rifles Battalion, a senior BGB official in Dhaka said. Requesting to be unnamed, he said the special court in Sylhet, some 241 km northeast of Dhaka, sentenced all the convicts rigorous imprisonment for different terms ranging from four months to seven years. Two soldiers were acquitted as the court found no evidence for the allegations made against them, the official said.
With Thursday’s latest verdict, he said, “The number of BDR soldiers who were accused and sentenced to different terms of imprisonment for the February 2009 mutiny involvement stood at 352. “ The Bangladeshi government decided to try the accused for such offenses as killings, attempt to murder, looting and arson committed during the mutiny, which killed 74 people, including 57 officers deputed from the Army, at the speedy trial tribunal under the penal code.
Other offenses like breach of discipline and defying superiors’ orders at the BDR headquarters in Dhaka and other stations of the force across the country will be tried under the BDR laws. The maximum punishment under the penal code is death sentence; while under the BDR (now BGB) laws it is seven years’ imprisonment.—NNI