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152 to Die, 160 Get Life-Terms in BDR Carnage Case in Bangladesh
By Ataur Rahman
Bangladesh Correspondent
Fifty-seven army officers were brutally killed by the Bangladeshi Rifles (BDF) in the tragic incident called "BDR Carnage" in Pilkhana within Dhaka City in Bangladesh on Feb. 25, 2009.

DHAKA, Nov 5, 2013 — A special court of Bangladesh today sentenced 152 people to death and 160 to life in prison for their involvement in killing 74 people, including 57 army officers, in the 2009 BDR carnage.

Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the third Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court delivered the verdict after 56 months of the carnage on examining the testimony of 654 out of 1345 prosecution witnesses.

The persons awarded capital punishment include Deputy Assistant Directors Touhidul Islam, Nasir Uddin Khan, Mirza Habibur Rahman and Abdul Jalil of the erstwhile Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) now renamed as the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).

Dhaka city BNP leader and former lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pinto and local Awami League leader Torab Ali were awarded life- term imprisonment as their involvement in the conspiracy in organizing the BDR mutiny and committing murder was proved. They were also fined Take five lakh each, failing to pay, they should be in jail for another five years.

The court acquitted 271 persons as the prosecution could not establish the charges brought against them. Besides, 263 persons were given sentences of different tenure.

The brutal killing of the country's top and mid-ranking army officials in the much hated BDR carnage on February 25-26, 2009, created widespread sensation at home and abroad.

Completion of the prosecution leading to today's much-awaited judgment has earned immense credit for the present government.

The mutineers also looted arms and ammunitions during the 33 hours' bloodbath at the Peelkhana headquarters in the city.

The trial was held in a makeshift court on Aliya Madrasha ground in the old part of the city. Originally a total of 850 persons were accused in the case and of them, 20 persons remained absconding till pronouncement of the verdict. Four accused including a Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) Abdur Rahim died during the trial.

Expressing satisfaction over the verdict, a prosecution lawyer Mosharraf Hossain Kajal said that justice has been done in the trial. He said this verdict may help to get consolation to the relatives of the ill-fated deceased in the carnage.

Defense counsels Shamim Sarder and Aminul Islam said they will file appeal before the Higher Court against the verdict. The then officer-in-charge of Lalbagh police station Nobojyoti Khasha lodged a case on February 28, 2009.

The case was investigated under the supervision of special police super of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Abdul Khahar Akand. After a long investigation for about 500 days, two separate chargesheets were submitted to the court on July 12, 2010. Initially, 824 persons were made accused in the case, but later a supplementary chargesheet was submitted by adding 26 names as accused. Finally, the number of accused stands at 850.

Of them, 782 are the erstwhile BDR personnel and 23 are civilians.

The trial was initiated on February 5, 2011 and after 233 days of hearing, the court pronounced the judgment today.

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Mr. Ataur Rahman serves as Bangladesh Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He earned his Master of Commerce degree from Dhaka University in 1985. Mr. Rahman has vast journalistic experience including his stints at "The Daily Janata" and "The Dainik Bangla."






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