The BDR Special Court-3 in Feni yesterday sentenced 57 out of 62 mutiny accused jawans of 19 Rifles Battalion to different terms in prison. The rest five were acquitted of the allegation.
It was the third judgment given in connection with the last year's BDR mutiny. The chairman of the court, BDR Director General Maj Gen Moinul Islam delivered the verdict.
In addition to jail terms, the court also fined each convict Tk 100. They will serve the sentences in civil jails.
The judgment has been delivered following the BDR law.
The court started its proceedings around 1:45pm. BDR DG Moinul Islam read out the orders of punishment to each of the convicts separately. He noted the accused were provided with all types of legal aid.
Before announcing the verdict the court chairman said all witnesses and evidence confirmed that BDR mutiny took place in 19 Rifles Battalion.
The chairman said this is a remarkable day in the history of 19 Rifles Battalion in Feni.
As per the legal process, an accused is to be given at least 27 days for their self-defence, but in this case they were given more time, he said. A BDR official was appointed to ensure legal assistance for the accused. At the beginning, two civil lawyers worked for the accused jawans.
Visitors and newsmen were present during the trial.
Four of the convicts -- Havildar Major Md Ruhul Amin, Sepoy Md Mizanur Rahman, Sepoy Md Bashir Ahmed, and Sepoy Md Mohiuddin -- got the highest seven years.
Those who got four years and six months each are Nayek Emranul Haque Bhuiyan, Nayek Md Osman Haider and Sepoy driver Md Abu Hanifa.
Nayek Md Moklesur Rahman will have to serve four years and three months.
Havildar Md Firoz Kabir and Sepoy driver Nihar Ranjan Tanchangya got four years each.
Havildar Md Abdur Rashid, Sepoy Md Lokman Hakim, Sepoy Ching Thoa U Marma, Sepoy Ranju Ranjan Talukder, Sepoy Md Abdul Kadir and Sepoy Nazmus Saadat were sentenced to three years' imprisonment while Havildar Khorshed Karim, Havildar Md Fazlul Haq, Havildar Md Emdadul Haque Sarker, Lance Nayek Swapan Kumar Das, Sepoy Md Abdul Momen, Sepoy Md Saiful Alam, Sepoy Md Aminul Islam Dakua, Sepoy Md Selim Uddin, Sepoy Muhammad Jabed, Sepoy Md Sultan Dewan, Sepoy VM Md Zulfikar Ali, Sepoy Rashish Chakma, Sepoy driver Muhammad Safiul Alam, Sepoy Md Abul Kashem and Sepoy Md Abdullah Al Mamun were sentenced to two years and six months jail term.
Nayek Subedar Yasin Ali, Nayek Subedar Afaz Uddin, Havildar Md Shah Jamal Sarker, Sepoy driver Sudarshan Chakma, Sepoy Moazzem Hossain, Sepoy Kazi Mahmudul Arefin, Sepoy Md Mizanur Rahman, Sepoy Anwarul Azim and Sepoy Shahriar were sentenced to two years' imprisonment while Nayek Mahbubur Rahman, Sepoy Md Rafiqul Islam, Nayek Md Atta Faruque and Sepoy Md Moktar Hossain to one year and six months imprisonment.
Subedar Maj Faquir Abdul Jalil, Sepoy Md Safiuddin (attached with 24 Rifles Battalion), Sepoy Abdus Sattar, Sepoy electrician Md Habibul Hasan Hero and Sepoy Aminul Haque were awarded one year jail term, Sepoy Syed Saidur Rahman and Sepoy Md Bilas to six months, Sepoy Mithun Barua, Sepoy Md Al Amin, Sepoy Md Safiuql Islam, Sepoy Muhammad Golzar Hossain, Sepoy Md Sohel Rana and Sepoy Khairul Islam to four months' imprisonment.
The court acquitted Havildar Mohammad Ali, Nayek Dulal Miah, Lance Nayek (signal) Saiful Islam, Sepoy Kazi Saifuzzaman and Sepoy Md Omar Faruque as the charges brought against them were not proved.
Many convicts burst into tears during the delivery of the verdict. Government's counsel Lt Col Gazi Md Salahuddin, also commanding officer of 19 Rifles Battalion, in a press briefing told journalists that he was satisfied with the verdict.
After BDR rebellion at Pilkhana, Dhaka on February 25 last year the mutiny spread to 19 Rifles Battalion in Daganbhuiyan upazila in Feni on February 26. The mutineers rang the alarm bell, looted the armoury and put up blockade on Feni-Noakhali highway.
The accused persons were taken to the special court set up at 19 Rifles Battalion headquarters at Jailaskar from Feni jail under strict Rab and police guard yesterday morning. After delivery of the verdict they were sent back to Feni jail.
VERDICT IN SATKHIRA
The BDR special court no-1 will deliver judgment of the mutiny case against 60 accused BDR jawans of 41 rifles battalion in Satkhira today.
After completion of arguments from the defendants and the prosecutors on March 23, the court fixed April 19 to deliver the verdict in the case.