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The BDR Massacre in Bangladesh

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The Muslims of Bangladesh are still coming to terms with the cold blooded massacre that took place at the end of February.

What appeared initially to be a mutiny from the 25th February - 26th February 2009 by the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) - a paramilitary force protecting the borders of the country under the command of the army turned into a full blown massacre and slaughter.

The BDR mutineers on the 25th February were demanding better pay, clearance to participate in lucrative United Nations peacekeeping missions and career progression to senior posts which filled from the Army. The act of mutiny in BDR led to the killing of their Commanding General and many others including officers' families and children came as a rude shock. The Jawans (soldiers) of the BDR also complained about the corruption of Army Officers who come to the BDR for a short tenure and indulged in corrupt practices. However the scale of the mutiny and the brutality of its perpetrators were so vicious than rationally required to press for mere economic demands.

If this was a pay dispute the BDR could easily have resorted to the standard trade union tactic of going missing without leave or refusing to take orders from their superiors. However what happened is really brutal and horrific. The killers had with them a hit list of the Army officers whom they searched out and massacred. They did not stop at that - they mutilated dead bodies of the officers; buried them in mass graves; burnt dead bodies; buried alive some of the officers; and raped, tortured and killed their wives and children. This does suggest strongly that the forces behind the upheaval had their eyes set on a much bigger prize!

Mutiny

The mutiny commenced at 10 am on the 25th February and surprisingly by 12 noon Prime Minister Hasina sent junior ministers Sahara Khatun and Jahangir Kabir Nanak to BDR HQ at Pilkhana as her emissary, they met a delegation of the mutineers led by MD Tawheed for a negotiated settlement of the crisis, at the same time the armed forces were given no orders to move against thr BDR. The mutineer delegation arrived at PM's residence escorted by Nanak, Sahara Khatun like VIP's, handed over their hand scribbled demands to Hasina and returned triumphantly with a general amnesty from her.

Throughout the mutiny both junior home ministers Sahara Khatun and Jahangir Kabir Nanak negotiated with the mutineers from the BDR, they in fact moved in out of the BDR headquarters without the need for security. On the second day of the mutiny Sahara Khatun convinced the jawans to give up their arms by assuring them that the Army would not go into the BDR headquarters.

Understanding the Massacre

During the whole revolt the army was ordered to surround the BDR compound but at no time was the compound stormed even though firing was clearly going on. The Awami league government played a dubious role in this incident and gave the rebels ample time to surrender which actually allowed them to carry out all the massacres they wanted and flee the scene without being caught.

There are many questions that need answering?

An analysis of events of the 25-26th February clearly point out the shady role of the Awami League government.

1. Why did the Awami League government not have any information on the conspiracy of this magnitude?
2. Why did the government send inexperienced ministers to negotiate with the rebels?
3. Why did the ministers Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Shahara Khatun go in and out of the BDR compound without need for security? Why did they feel safe and secure in such a hostile environment?
4. Why did PM Hasina give the BDR rebels general amnesty without confirming the fate of the Army officers and their families?
5. Why did the government move the Army 3km away from the BDR camp and black out the whole area? Effectively allowing the criminals to flee from the scene?

India?

There are three points that we need to keep in mind: What did mutiny achieve? Who benefits? As well as the timing.

The answer to the first question can be found in the actual events that took place. - the BDR has been destroyed, its chain of command has been completely ruined. The Army has lost some of its most capable officers and it has been dealt a severe blow. It will take a long time to rebuild the BDR and for the Army to recover.

There is only one external force that benefits from all this - India. The weakening the defence forces of Bangladesh has been a long term Indian plan and she has tried to do this on many occasions in the past. Secondly the BDR protects the Bangladesh border from the Indian border forces (BSF). India has always viewed this as a problem. One former senior Indian intelligence official B Raman wrote a column in the magazine ‘Outlook' on 27 February, 2009 where he said BDR's anti- Indian stance is an obstacle to Indian-Bangladesh relationship. The BDR is trained by the Army because of which has resulted in the BDR becoming a very capable force that does the its job very well to the point that the BSF fear BDR. There are many incidents of clashes between the two forces where the BSF simply fled from the fight. Therefore weakening or even destroying the BDR leaves the Bangladesh border unprotected from the Indian BSF aggression. Thirdly as a Muslim country, the armed forces of Bangladesh are always viewed as a security threat by India. The BDR massacre has severely harmed the Bangladesh military.

We should also consider the Indian response during and after the incident. The BSF sent SMS messages during the rebellion to soldiers in the BDR assuring them of assistance. The Indian media launched a frenzied attack on Islamic militants for apparently carrying out the mutiny and the Bangladesh opposition parties also jumped on this to malign the Islamic groups. The Indian Army and air force was kept ready for assisting the Hasina's government; not in dealing with the mutiny (the Bangladesh Army is capable of doing that) rather to save the government in case of any threats to its existence. And now the Indian government is making statements that the Hasina government has their full backing and they will not sit idly, if there are any threats from events, post mutiny.

The Indian magazine ‘Outlook' reported that Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukharjee said in a closed door meeting of Congress leaders that "... in the current scenario, India is ready to provide any help to Bangladesh ...I want to send strong warnings to those who are trying to destabilize Sheikh Hasina's government that if they continue to do this, India will not remain silent, if necessary, India will directly intervene." In other words the Indian political leadership is prepared for the fallout of the incident. It seems that India wants Sheikh Hasina to reform and restructure BDR after the 25th February incident. India has attempted in the past to create a Joint Task force which would undermine Bangladesh's independence.

As for the timing, at present with the Hasina government in power they found a favourable moment to execute their plan. They found internal forces that will assist them in organizing the event and more importantly their future plans regarding the re-structuring of the BDR and the Army.

With the rise of China and India in the region and the interference of the US in the region in recent years Bangladesh has gained strategic importance in terms of regional geo-politics. Right now in the aftermath of the BDR incident all the imperialist powers are undertaking efforts to advance their interests. The US, the British, and the Indians - all are conspiring for control over the Bangladesh Army.

India for long has wanted the Bangladeshi leadership to accept their demands that including a transit route facilities and joint task force as well as Indian gas export.

After the BDR incident Hasina visited the Dhaka Army HQ and meet over 2000 officers. The recording of the meeting is now circulating on the internet. The message that she carried back was that she could no longer trust Bangladesh armed forces neither could she at the same time earn their respect. The Army has setup a parallel investigation to the one setup by the Government further confirming the mistrust between the government and the Army. Under such a situation Hasina invited foreign forces to come in to tame and establish full control over the Bangladesh armed forces, intelligence agencies and all other law enforcing forces under the pretext of restructuring, modernization etc.

Accordingly just after her visit to the Dhaka Army HQ she convened an urgent session of Parliament to discuss the present crisis facing the nation. In her speech she openly sought all out help and assistance from America, Britain, UN and other agencies to come in to restructure and reorganize the untrustworthy armed forces and all other law enforcing forces of Bangladesh including intelligence agencies fighting against terror. However, the fact remains that such a national betrayal is just to secure herself and her Government being dependent on the forces of the foreign masters.

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Abid Bahar said:

Feb 25, BANGLADESH'S NATIONAL PATRIOT'S DAY!
___________________________________________

LET'S STOP HORSE TRADING BY MIR JAFFORS!
Let's call this day, the BDR Massacre event, the BANGLADESH'S PATRIOTS DAY

This is the day when Bangladesher Mir Jaffor Moin U, as chief of the Bangladesh Army stoodby and Bangladesh army was massacred and Bangladesh lost its proud patriotic soilders to defend their country

Our national flag with the Sun says:

Surjoo Utecha

Purboo digh

antee

Roktoo Lal

Rokto Lal

Rokto Lal...

.................. Buzene to Durbrthoo!!!


--------------------------------------------
References:

!. :BDR Massacre
By Tanim Siddiquee · View photos

2.http://www.khilafah.com/index.php/analysis/asia/5867-the-bdr-massacre-in-bangladesh
 
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August 25, 2010
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the caliph said:

bro,
this tahrir's site is a media. here they picturised something that also fits with hasina that she killed pilkhana. now, why do you want to stop HT doing this job? HT got views and it should be delivered to the people. they never said that all proved and lets punish hasina. no. cause clearly we see that still theres nothing concrete to prove or else the court would have punished her already to death.

but my point is, whats wrong with saying something which is also possible and also cant be proved wrong? so that different ideas may come and people knows all. so that people can think and secrets may be revealed. such a tragedy and nothing to criticise???

man! why dont you see that a loving person muhammed sm who is now close to allah swt is getting insulted by facebook parts and many stupid people or cartoonists deed and they just accused so badly? do you have done anything in reply? as its their expression freedom consider HT got some right to say about their views for hasina but not in pornographic manner but in logical discussion.

i hope this may please you zakaria. HT may be wrong but dont shut them up. you never know whats gonna come out!

and to that person who posted quaranic ayah about "accusing wrongfully" well that ayah is not fitting here cause here its "accusing logically" even you have to accuse in court by the both against and for justice. so that the trial goes. accusing logically is fairly acceptable. in democracy and in islam too. its the push to go for clues and proof.
its also a way to run a trial too.

salams
 
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May 22, 2010
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the caliph said:

you made out all 5 answers very good zakaria. now tell me how many masacres in this world are captured in video? there may never be any concrete evidence. it is the hizb ut tahrir that made out of some points that really got logic in it and must be punched to the people so that they can know different views.

nowhere hizb team said that it proved and lets punish hasina.

their duty is to inform views and they did it. no need to be excited man. cool down. hasina is till good. and keep supporting her. you might be benefitted by the powerful.

but remember, allah knows all and he is the most powerful. submit your will to allah. if you see something going against islam or muslim majority countries which is done by anti-islamic entity, then you must need to think about it.
weaken BDR weakens the moral of BD army and border security. so this is a clear deeds of anti-islamic force. and hasina is so called puppet of india. the opposition team of BD still thinks that hasina is selling bd to india. why not you just ask khaleda why she said that?
 
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May 21, 2010
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evan said:

the analysis is very attractive.i still beleive that khilafah will b around us
 
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February 21, 2010
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zakaria said:

Part-2

On Q 3. Why did the ministers Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Shahara Khatun go in and out of the BDR compound without need for security? Why did they feel safe and secure in such a hostile environment? -- This question is very immature one. I understand that the moderator does have little knowledge in conflict resolution in the matter implicates military affairs. Can you tell me why they should attack and kill those ministers who tried to negotiate to mitigate BDR soldiers' demands (most of which were not irrational)? On Q 4. Why did PM Hasina give the BDR rebels general amnesty without confirming the fate of the Army officers and their families? -- Well, I should not defend PM's decision. But let me say that what I considered about the general amnesty, and which latter endorsed by the govt., that the Govt. declared amnesty to the mutiny given the fact that they raised some valid demands on their part and public opinion up until then was on BDR's side. To me, Govt. just played to the gallery, affirming their position that they are not against those valid demands. It would not create any question or whatsoever if officers were not killed, and with such a brutal heinous which in turn altered the public opinion against BDR overnight. If we consider the whole thing is a rebellion, and as I visited many districts afterward which share both Army and BDR camps, the general amnesty was a good decision to quell the tensed situation and to bring rebellers back to the negotiation table. Well, if you don't want negotiation (with being unaware of the fates of those killed officers), you ought to have faced a completely different situation altogether which could be even more dangerously bloody. Yes, you would be right, then we wouldn't have lost 57 army officers but hundreds of BDR and Army soldiers and many more civilians across the country. If you tell me to equate lives of Officers vs Soldiers vis-a-vis common people, the story would be different. My argument would be, a president's life is more important than hundred of officers, but even then, we lost two president killed by many colleagues of those officers. On Q 5. Why did the government move the Army 3km away from the BDR camp and black out the whole area? Effectively allowing the criminals to flee from the scene? -- This is actually self contradictory one. At the one hand you sought military solution - attack on the base - and on the other hand you don't want army to be prepared! I assume you must have been paid a visit of Pilkhana surroundings of which are densely populated. My view is that, govt. initially avoided the idea of counter attack and opted for negotiation to minimise loses. Later, putting their enough on negotiating the matter, they prepared for the both - continue the negotiation and if that failed carry out an attack. For the second option, you must tell the people living adjacent to Pilkhana to go and find a safer place. This is a common sense. Now politicising is so pervasive that a positive can be propagated as a negative. Once you call the people to vacate their place, BDR soldiers who lost their morals in defending their claims (after killing their fellow officers) chose to flew away. You may ask the failure of the govt. to cordon the area with enough care and sensitivity. We are told that Pintu (an opposition leader) helped the Jawans flew the scene by boat. Let's wait for the facts. But I admit the govt.'s failure to cordon the area. Blackout was maneuvered by the soldiers themselves and it was so easy to switch off station inside Pilkhana. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand this simple math. We want objective analysis of the event. Please stop politicising the matter. The nation has paid enough blood for politicising our military which was began by General Ziaur Rahman by taking reign of power and enhanced by General Ershad. Therefore, officers themselves are mostly to blame to be the victim of politicisation. We need to maintain a clear distinct line between civilian and military affairs. The more we could maintain the safe line, the better for the nation. We love Bangladesh and we want our leaders to focus on economic prosperity in an age of Asian Century (21st century is being considered as a century led by Asian resurgence). Time has arrived to say goodbye to the politics of fear mongering, spreading hatred against neighbours, and false propaganda. The nation is much more aware now than 1970s. Each and every village now enjoy the access of news media. People are watching who is doing what and how. Those old story will not do my friend. Let us try a bit of different tactics. Look for issues pertaining to economic significance, and issues affecting lives of people. Those vague jingoism and spreading xenophobia is the matter of 20th century and not a story of 21st century. Change your style and stance, lest, you will be a forgotten case. Good luck Bangladesh! We shall overcome someday....
 
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January 10, 2010
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zakaria said:

Part-1

It is very interesting proposition that a new govt. who took office merely a month ago and whose grip on power in organs of the state (administration, military, security intelligences, and all other organ of the states) was virtually inexistent, could endeavor for such a deadly massacre which event's sensitivity could easily ouster the newly installed govt. without any prejudice given the context of a third world country's internal balance of power. I am not sure the people who are crazily arguing that the govt. was behind the attack are not motivated themselves politically. Let us our conscience play here rather than emotive blunders which could trigger the options for more bloodshed in future. I would politely ask the writer to clarify the following points as you have given some interesting observation in your writing: On Q 1.Why did the Government not have any information on the conspiracy of this magnitude?, I think the context above is enough to clarify that. On Q 2.Why did the government send inexperienced ministers to negotiate with the rebels?, my humble question to you: What 'experienced minister' could do differently to alter the consequence? And why should Sahara Khatun at the age of 60 and Jahangir Kabir Nanok at the age of over 50 be considered as inexperience and in which barometers? Can you suggest the name of a few which could eventually replace these two and alter the consequence?
 
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January 10, 2010
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The Rivers said:

the problem with this analysis is from the point of benefit.. the BDR massacre does not only benefit india.. it also benefits the businessmen who are involved in smuggling and the inter-regional arms trade.. so according to benefits it would benefit any of these forces.. India has always supported Sheikh Hasina's government(a known fact that Sheikh Mujib as well as Hasina are Indian puppets).. Therefore, statements from India regarding Hasina's government are aligned towards Indian and regional policies of India which should not be a surprise or a link towards the involvement of India towards the massacre.. If you have heard the interview of Pranab Mukherjee he has stated that their goal is not to destabilize the Hasina government and that the BDR forces had distributed leaflets asking the help of BSF if the army cracks down on them.. However, the actual perpetrators are believed to have left through Comilla borders and through plane.. Moreover, many BDR personnels fled the scene at the creation of a security vacuum..
However, your analysis should have included the visit of the PM the day before the incident, the trimming of the forces allowed to be in the parade, and the involvement of the intelligences forces of BDR and DGFI..

The context of the discussion should not be who killed who? But rather what happened at the wake of the incident i.e. the failures of different aspects including curtailing perpetrators, the failure of government to capture the real perpetrators(i.e. without pointing who it was as u cant pinpoint with absoluteness), the security vaccum created out of this incident, and the future of Bangladesh through Khilafah where the armed forces honor would be upheld and people would be led by capable leaders..

however ur activism is centered towards who killed who.. u should change the context to an intellectual level..
 
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April 18, 2009
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rizoan said:

And now those 'Dalals' are distributing leaflets against HT in city and trying to hide their betrayal. O people of power open your eyes and fear Allah (swt)! Stand against this oppressive govt. Or you will also taste the torment of Hell-fire! May Allah save us all.
 
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April 04, 2009
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faisal said:

zazakallah for the analysis, its a very easy equation that india is behind the massacre. but there are some dalal who r trying to divert the issue.
 
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April 02, 2009
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S. Sylhet, Bangladesh said:

Excellent analysis. This article should be distributed in and around the capital city Dhaka and other such places where I reside such as Sylhet.
 
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April 02, 2009
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