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Bangladesh jails 723 soldiers over 2009 mutiny
Publication Date : 21-10-2012
Sentencing 723 soldiers of erstwhile Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) to different terms of rigorous imprisonment, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) yesterday concluded trials in all 57 cases over the 2009 mutiny in the force.
The jail terms of the convicted ranged from four months to seven years each. The jawans were also fined 100 (US$1) taka each.
Special court 9 of the paramilitary force acquitted 12 soldiers of the mutiny charges as the charges against 10 were not proved and two others had died.
The court announced the verdict in the case filed against the soldiers of Sadar Rifles Battalion.
Though the trial in the mutiny cases ended yesterday, trial of the BDR members accused of killing, arson and looting is underway in a special court. They are being tried under civil law as the previous BDR law did not have provisions of trials for murder.
Seventy-four people, including 57 army officials, were killed during the gruesome mutiny on February 25-26, 2009 at the Pilkhana headquarters and other battalions of the border guards across the country.
With yesterday's verdict, a total of 5,926 jawans have been awarded various jail terms, 115 acquitted and five dropped from the mutiny charges.
Briefing the press, prosecutor Lt Col Md Obaidul Haque said the soldiers were jailed for torturing officers, helping to bury the bodies of the slain officers and delivering provocative speeches, among other crimes.
The BGB constituted eleven special courts, including six in Dhaka, as per Bangladesh Rifles Order, 1972 to deal with the charge of mutiny.
Some human rights organisations have raised objections to the trial process.
Adilur Rahman Khan, secretary of Odhikar, alleged that the accused were not provided with enough facilities during the cross-examination of prosecution witnesses, while their confessional statements were obtained through torture, reports BBC Bangla Service.