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Maj Gen Rafiqul Islam
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The government yesterday brought a few but significant changes in posts of the Army, BDR and Ansar.

The present Director General of Bangladesh Rifles Maj Gen M Mainul Islam has been sent back to Bangladesh Army. Maj Gen Rafiqul Islam, present director general of the Ansar, replaced him as the new BDR director general.

Meanwhile, Brig Gen Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardy, now DMI (Director Military Intelligence) has been appointed as the new DG of Ansar and VDP Directorate on deputation.

Establishment Ministry Secretary Iqbal Mahmood told The Daily Star last night that a government circular has already been issued regarding the reshuffle.

Maj Gen M Mainul Islam, when contacted by The Daily Star yesterday around 9:00pm, said he has received a circular that he has been sent back to the army. But Maj Gen Rafiqul Islam, who is to replace Mainul, said he had not been formally informed of the changes but had heard about the transfers from the media.

Brig Gen Chowdhury Hasan Sarwardy told The Daily Star last night that he had not received any official order but heard the news from the media.

Army sources said the post of the CGS (Chief of General Staff) in the army had been lying vacant since last month when CGS Maj Gen Abdul Hafiz was appointed as force commander of the UN Peace-Keeping Mission in the Ivory Coast.

Maj Gen Mainul, who has been sent back to the Army after 13 months in the paramilitary force, is likely to be appointed as CGS, army sources speculated.

Mainul was appointed the DG of BDR last year during a major crisis period of the outfit following the bloody mutiny of February 25-26 during which the force lost 57 of its top- and mid-ranking officers including the then DG Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed.

Mainul faced the challenge of bringing the BDR troops to discipline and ensure justice for all the victims of the mutiny.

Even though many reform proposals for the BDR are yet to be implemented, Mainul told The Daily Star last night that confidence has been restored and the BDR is a stable outfit now.

Mainul has also been conducting BDR mutiny trials as ex officio president of six special courts of BDR. Since November last year he has started 11 separate trials out of the total 50 to try the alleged BDR mutineers.

Last week two BDR special courts headed by Mainul handed out judgments in two mutiny cases in Panchagarh and Thakurgaon.

When Maj Gen Rafiqul takes charge of the BDR, he will also become the president of its special courts as an ex officio, Maj Gen Mainul told The Daily Star.

He said, "The ongoing BDR reforms is on the track and the home and law secretaries are fully aware of the reforms proposals. As the two other members of the six BDR special courts would be the same, the appointment of the new DG, who would become the presidents of the courts, would not hamper the trials.

"I have already fixed judgment dates for a number of the trials. If I am legally bound to deliver the verdicts of those cases myself, I would do so."

Maj Gen Rafiqul Islam was appointed the DG of Ansar last year when the government forced Maj Gen ATM Amin into retirement. Amin had been seen as a controversial army officer for his role during the two-year-long caretaker government's tenure. He was then in the DGFI and was also the DG of Ansar.

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General Mainul Islam did take a strong stand against the BSF which has been killing Bangladeshi citizens like birds. Gen. Islam expressed his frustrations at the BSF's failure to keep its promises.

: Anonymous





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