Death Toll Skyrocketing From Massacre In Dhaka

Now that the BDR “mutiny” in Dhaka is over, bodies of those massacred are being found inside the BDR headquarters at Pilkhana. Other bodies have been discovered dumped into sewege drains. Many army and BDR officers remain missing and it is feared the death toll may rise to 170. The BBC reports:

Bangladeshi troops searching the site of a mutiny in Dhaka have uncovered a grave thought to hold the bodies of 58 officers killed by mutineers.

Scores of officers are missing feared dead at the huge border guard barracks where nearly 100 people are now known to have died in two days of unrest.

An army spokesman said all the bodies in the grave appeared to be officers’.

The authorities have arrested at least 200 suspected mutineers who reportedly rebelled over poor pay and conditions.

They were detained while trying to escape dressed in civilian clothes from the barracks of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), officials say.

After visiting the sprawling compound, a government minister declared that the men responsible for the deaths would not receive an amnesty, as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina previously offered.

This is mass murder. Many questions are still unanswered. This does not appear to be a spontaneous uprising. A massacre of this scale requires planning and organization. We are likely to find out more gruesome details about what went on inside the BDR headquarters in the 33 hour killing spree.

It is a sad irony that BDR soldiers have carried out this massacre. On the night of March 25, 1971 it was BDR soldiers (then EPR) who became the first martyrs of Bangladesh’s Liberation War when Pakistani soldiers massacred them by the hundreds at Pilkhana. It was the opening salvo of the 1971 genocide. Pilkhana is hallowed ground. These cold blooded murderers have defaced it.

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9 Responses to Death Toll Skyrocketing From Massacre In Dhaka

  1. “Pilkhana is hallowed ground. These cold blooded murderers have defaced it.”

    So true…these men have betrayed not just their sense of duty to their country, but some of the very principles on which the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was founded. Yes they had a massive list of very legitimate, long-standing grievances (such as the disparity in pay, inability to participate in UN peacekeeping missions, lack of opportunity for promotion, lack of autonomy in terms of institutional leadership, etc.) but what the mutineers in Dhaka carried out was nothing short of treason and murder on a grand scale with haunting parallels to the purges the Pakistanis carried out. The BDR rank and file mutineers ought to be granted amnesty, but the ringleaders and cold blooded murderers of the officers must be brought to justice.

    Perhaps more importantly, the BDR as well as the military in general must be reformed on an institutional level in order to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future. The very stability of our young nation depends on it.

  2. You have my deepest condolences. I’m very sorry for for what Bangladesh has suffered this week.

    Why on earth, though, would the BDR jawan do this? Mutinies I can understand, but this makes no sense at all.

  3. Mash says:

    James, I am also not buying the “mutiny” rationale. This was too well planned and coordinated to be a spontaneous uprising by jawans. I also dont think the crisis is over yet. There are a lot of questions and not nearly enough answers yet.

  4. Zubi says:

    Bangladesh Army holds open examination and chooses Army cadets from all over the country based on their physical fitness, academic strength, determination etc. They go through a lengthy trainings while they prepare themselves for their bachelors degree. By the time they pass the academy they are fit for their job. Anyone who works in BDR are also open to participate in such an Army selection exam.

    There might have been grievances among BDR. But some one used that grievance to create a conflict. Aggravate the force who are little educated and create a conflict between two forces holding arms. Army by showing their patience has proven that they are really refined and qualified.
    If the BDR soldiers were protesting against inequality why did they kill the servants who worked at the residences in the compound?

  5. Zubi says:

    It would be wrong for bangladesh charge 1000 BDR soldiers for murder. It is clear that a 1000 solders. They should make sure they find the soldiers who did it. And investigatie them enough to find out details behind this.

  6. Zubi says:

    But on second thought may be they are doing the right thing by charging these 1000 solders. The leaders and participants of the brutality should be identified through investigation of all these soldiers.

  7. In my eyes they lost the right to call themselves “soldiers” the very moment they killed that first unarmed officer or civilian and are now nothing more than murderous thugs. As such they deserve no special treatment than the justice doled out to the common murderer.

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