Dhaka,  Sunday
14 April 2024

BDR Carnage: Justice Not Meted in 15 Years

Editor, The Daily Messenger

Published: 02:04, 27 February 2024

BDR Carnage: Justice Not Meted in 15 Years

Photo : Collected

Fifteen years ago, a brutal, deadly and cruel incident caused deaths and injuries to hundreds of soldiers and officers by a large number of mutineers of the para-military force Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) at its headquarters in Dhaka.

On February 25 and 26, 2009, the heartless and pitiless mutineers brutally killed 74 people, including 57 army officers, including the director general of BDR, Major General Shakeel Ahmed, in the BDR rebellion.

The delay in the trial of the two cases has been mentioned. One is the appeal cases in the higher court. The Explosives Act cases against the mutineers are still hearing witnesses' testimony in the judicial court.

Even though many have been acquitted in murder cases or completed their sentences in sedition cases, there are still languishing in prison accused under explosive cases. Therefore, the government prosecutors and defence lawyers cannot say when the trials will be completed.

After the special tribunal’s verdict on murder cases, the proceedings in the High Court have also ended. The case is now awaiting the verdict from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.

Because of the highest number of accused in the history of Bangladesh, a separate bench has been recommended in the Appellate Division to hear this case.
The BDR rebellion has the highest number of accused in the history of Bangladesh. Nearly 850 members of the BDR who participated in the rebellion are tried in the sensational case.

The tribunal handed down the death penalty to 152 accused, 160 were sentenced to life imprisonment and 256 were sentenced to different prison sentences.

The death sentence of 139 people out of 152 people, the higher court upheld the judicial court’s verdict. The High Court upheld the sentence of 146 out of 160 life sentences in the trial court.

Out of the 278 people who were acquitted by the judicial court, 248 people were acquitted and the number of convicts who have completed their ten-year sentence is 256. There are at least five hundred accused who are in jail, only because of the pending explosive case.

Finally, at least 47 people had died in state custody. Lawyers defending the accused said that the number of deaths has increased in the last ten years.

At the moment, both the prosecution and the prosecution of the Appellate Division are having difficulty hearing a large number of death penalty cases.
As a result, as the families of the victims are waiting for justice, the families of those accused are hapless.

"Justice delayed is justice denied" is a legal maxim that emphasises the importance of timely justice.