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Monday, March 2, 2009
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PM focused more on saving the innocent

She defends decision on BDR at JS; govt seeks UN, FBI probe help

Worried family members accompany BDR men as they report back to the BDR headquarters yesterday.Photo: Shawkat Jamil

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday told parliament that her government has sought assistance from the US and UN, and will request the UK as well for cooperation in probe into the massacre at BDR headquarters last week.

Referring to her telephone conversation with the United States assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, she said, "I've had a talk with Mr. [Richard] Boucher today. I told him I want FBI assistance in the probe."

She said she has asked for cooperation from UN as there is no question of belittling the barbaric acts of violence at BDR Pilkhana.

“I'll also request the British high commissioner for Scotland Yard's assistance.”

Hasina, also leader of the House, was speaking on an obituary reference on the death of army officials in the hands of disgruntled border troops on Wednesday and Thursday.

About the government's tackling of what she termed a pre-planned massacre at Pilkhana, she said the focus all along was on saving lives of thousands of innocent people.

"I opted for talks to save lives, to save the officers and their families," she said refuting claims that not resorting to force was a tactical mistake.

She said her government has already directed the army, police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) to round up the BDR men who did not report for duty within the 24 hour time limit that ended at 4:00pm yesterday.

She also said she has asked the law minister to arrange for a special tribunal to try those responsible for the vicious killings.

The prime minister said a neutral probe committee was formed yesterday ensuring representation of the army, air force, navy, police and Rab.

The new committee was formed as neutrality of the previous one headed by the home minister was questioned.

Hasina blasted the remarks that Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia made during discussions on the obituary motion.

Referring to her meeting with army officers in Dhaka cantonment earlier in the day, she said the opposition lawmakers were echoing some of the views aired there.

Participating in the obituary discussions, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia came down hard on the government's strategies to resolve the crisis.

She again termed the general amnesty a mistake, and said the prime minister's talks with the BDR mutineers “in the name of ending the revolt was not right”.

Hasina rebutted the criticisms from her opposite number.

In a veiled reference to local BNP men, she said they had brought out processions in Hazaribagh and other areas surrounding Pilkhana to encourage the killers. They chanted slogans like “BDR-Janata Bhai Bhai (BDR-people are brothers).

“Just when the mutineers were about to lay down their arms, they were told by some quarters not to surrender,” she continued.

"I want to know…who had arranged speedboats to help the mutineers flee… who gave them dresses to change and who brought a grey truck inside the BDR compound?”

She said since the investigation is on, she would not say much.

Mentioning coups and counter-coups in the military since 1975, she said, “It's so unfortunate that our army officers come under vicious attacks all too often and get killed for someone else's lust for power and ambition. Why they have to endure so much pain.

“As many as 565 air force officers were hanged in one incident alone in 1977.”

About concerns over unprotected border in the wake of crisis in the border force, she told the House that all border areas are well protected now.

The prime minister announced that her government will give Tk 10 lakh to each of the victims' families. Besides, they will be given Tk 5 lakh more by the army.

Hasina said children of the slain army officials will be able to study at the cadet colleges or other institutions for free.

About the process of trial, Hasina said Lalbagh police have filed a case, and the Criminal Investigation Department is working on it. Some 646 BDR personnel are now in police custody.

She outright rejected the allegation that the government had appointed rebel BDR member Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) Touhid Alam as director general of the paramilitary force.

She said, “Touhid has already been arrested. He is now in police custody.”

The prime minister said her government's timely measures saved lives of army officials and their family members who had been taken hostage.

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PM focused more on saving the innocent why is the govt asking for outside help? isn't it an elected govt? i do not understand this tendency to depend on foreign involvement in resolving an internal matter. can we ask for transperancy from a party whose intelligence agency influenced all the coups post 1975?

: shakib

Bangladesh's history is bloodier than I thought

: Earthday


  • Badrul Siddiqui
    Monday, March 2, 2009 01:16 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    No matter what commendations may the world bestow on our honorable PM for handling the situation, it was the worst example of a political solution when people were being killed and violated inside a surroundable and accessible compound! Such a solution was highly undemocratic, and foolhardy.

  • Mostaq, London
    Monday, March 2, 2009 01:27 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    PM is right political decision was right than military action in bdr tragedy, military action could kill thousands of civilians, innocents, army and bdr personnel. Khaleda zia should not talk non sense at this time, we need to understand the real situation, please be patience, united and and act intelligently to find out the real culprits.

  • Probongo,
    Monday, March 2, 2009 01:32 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    If a nation asks others to detect and find its family faults,this shows how inefficient and incapable the nation is. We should never open our golden Bengal to otzhers and for no reason. Even in the 21st century, we're behaving like in the 16th century. This proves how fit we're for the democracy Shame Shame. Let the soul of the poor people, who had to give their life for nothing less than the nation. How long our poor B'deshis starting from the father of the nations and brave army officer like Maj.Gen.Ziaur Rahman down to the recent victims have to sacrifice their life to the indiscipline barbarians. I thi9nk there are many things still wrong in our educatin and moral development. The nation requires a general mass treatment rather than asking foreigners to help. Just read the recent results of UN tribunal in Kosovo culprits. To receive justice and to posses justice by law are two different things.

  • Probongo
    Monday, March 2, 2009 01:42 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    There is no reason to kill any body for any reason. Where is the brave person, who can bring this simple human message to the poor emotional Bengali nation. I think that love for Sonar Bangla has created a mass sickness within the nation. We're loving our nation absolutely emotionally blind.

  • Jamil Ahmed
    Monday, March 2, 2009 01:44 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    Bangladesh should take care of it's internal affair. American intelligence is not any better. Look at Iraq.

  • tamzid
    Monday, March 2, 2009 02:03 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    I don't believe what she says. She is not qualified to run a country. So is Khaleda Zia. It's time we have new prime minister and put these two former prime ministers back in the jail and save the country.

  • Qamruddin Chowdhury
    Monday, March 2, 2009 01:13 PM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    The culprits must be punished and there's no one denying this. However, the innocents must be saved. Look at the poor faces of these women of our society, pictured in this article, who are our sisters in religion, how they too would be affected immensely if innocents are victimised through any wrong decision. We want fair and quick trial of criminals and re-organization of BDR. Dis banning all BDR may be a huge loss to the nation.

  • Sirajul Islam
    Monday, March 2, 2009 04:10 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    I am sudden and embarrassed. I live in UK. Lot of my colleagues were talking about this unbelievable incredible events that has seen lots of people being killed.. I was very ashamed of what had happened. The West are laughing at us. Those that committed the offense what were their motives. I find this event a complete embarrassing. I disgrace my mother land.

  • Motives??
    Monday, March 2, 2009 06:01 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    Considering the vindictive patterns of torture and killing: possible speculations 1) War criminals in Jamat and BNP, not because they will be able to stop the war crime trial but they want to undermine what they did in 71 to the public. So that later in future Jamat's false islamic political philosophy can still survive in the soil of BD. 2) The corrupted politicians from AL, BNP who had gone through remand after 1/11. Hope our intelligence are already aware of the above to speculations. Now the facts will establish the truth.

  • Monday, March 2, 2009 07:04 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    Well Bangladesh is really an unfortunate country. Again it proves. What can u do when these leaders go to power they don't do anything ,only crocodile tears. What a charade?????????????? One is crying for her hubby and other is for her family. Shame both of u U have given the chance to take action against the killer of ur father and husband. But u didnt do it now u r paying the price. think about that if we could have taken actions against the killers of Shekh Muzib,Zia

  • sajjad
    Monday, March 2, 2009 07:23 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    Our PM should be selected for next Nobel peace prize.

  • Monday, March 2, 2009 08:42 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    Good decision seeking assistance from the US and UN, and the UK as well for cooperation in probe.

  • Md. Abdulah
    Monday, March 2, 2009 09:36 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    The picture of poor family who are innocent and come with family member to report is the superb live picture so far. My heartiest thanks to photographer and planner of news setting. It shows that not all member only some miscreants BDR member only engaged in this heinous act. It also tell us to try the real culprits shortly to remove this uncertainty which shows in this picture of our sister.

    Monday, March 2, 2009 08:54 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    I request to Bangladesh peoples to support Hasina what she said is right. who help them and why BNP people were supporting at the point of surrender . Hasina should help from overseas to find out who behind the attack and whats the motive of attack. we all should co-operate this investigation.

  • Joy
    Monday, March 2, 2009 09:13 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    This is so unfortunate to see that our top leaders can't get behind our elected president/ prime minister even when our nation is in the middle of a crisis. What is the worth having a ideology when you can't help unite the county in the even of a crisis, rather work on divide it no matter how wrong or write a policy is. What ever the difference is, we must unite as a country when our country is at stake. This practice is such a low point in the Bangladesh politics. We all should be united.

  • meem
    Monday, March 2, 2009 09:43 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    Sheikh Hasina's government has failed dismally to handle the BDR revolt. A hostage situation is always surrounded by law enforcement, and a show of strength is necessary to discourage the miscreants from harming the hostages. Hasina's government failed to do both. The Government effectively allowed the revolting BDR's enough time to search, find and kill the best and brightest of our army. The promised amnesty further emboldened the BDR. How the Government can claim success after the death of so many army officers is beyond my understanding. For shame!

  • Sohel Ahmed
    Monday, March 2, 2009 10:42 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    The prime ministers initiative is well come. The culprits must be brought to justice at any cost. With FBI, UN & Scotland yard working together the truth will certainly come out. But the fact remains why our Intelligence services keep failing. To investigate that we can also take help from the above mention foreign intelligence services.

  • nasar
    Monday, March 2, 2009 11:13 AM GMT+06:00 (362 weeks ago)

    Thanks to the Prime Minster for considering involvement of US and UK and United Nation for investigating such abominated heinous act of brutality where over 100 Sr Officers of the Army were killed , massacred , looted and destroyed the Government properties. I know some of them; they had earned excelled reputation in UN Peace Keeping Mission in abroad. Therefore, somehow these Sr. Officers had some connectivity with the UN and hence, the decision to involve the UN is an excelled idea and decision and caries strong weight to have a free, fair and impartial investigation maintaining neutrality. The finding would be acceptable to all. We the citizen the Country is passionately waiting to have the outcome of the investigation result and appropriate legal action must be taken against such brutality. The investigation and inquiry must go fast and immediately . Country men also need to know the motive behind such heinous killing and destruction and why it took place. Those who were killed they were the great assets of the Nation and the Country and easily this loss would not be able to recouped. We do hope the Government would make all efforts to identity the real culprits and maker proper judgment and execute judgment openly to avoid such re occurrence. We are unfortunate Nation and a Country, we could not save our golden sons, even the father of the nation, the most beloved President Zia and lately the great solders and all of then were killed by the unruly perverted armed people. Now time has come, to look into all those points raised but not only Dal Vat, dissatisfaction of the contingents but to dig out the real causes and who were behind the scene.





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