Monday, 9 March, 2009

Foreign spies killed border guard officers: Khaleda Zia

6 Mar 2009 (Times of India)
DHAKA: Bangladesh's former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has alleged that "foreign spies hired from outside" killed the officers and their family
members during the mutiny by Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) troopers.

She said: "I don't believe any Bangladeshis were involved in this killing. The killers were hired from outside and entered the Pilkhana headquarters in BDR uniform."

Addressing a mourning procession organised to pay homage to the killed officers on Thursday, she demanded to know if any of the spies were from "within the present government".

Political analysts said this was a new twist to the Sheikh Hasina government's conspiracy charge and the role of "vested interest", amidst speculation that the mutiny could have been triggered by the government's move to try those involved in "war crimes" during the 1971 freedom movement.

The government is perceived to be targeting top leadership of Jamaat-e-Islami, an ally that shared power with Zia during 2001-06.

The new BDR chief, brigadier general Mohammed Mainul Islam, on Tuesday cited video footage of the mutiny to say "outsiders" wearing BDR uniform had taken the lead in the killing of nearly a hundred officers February 25-26.

The investigations into the two-day insurrection have yielded some clues, media reports said on Friday citing officials, but not naming them.

Citing telephone records of some suspects, the investigators said the February 25 massacre might have been planned "at least two months back", The Daily Star said.

The officials claimed to have gathered and studied last two months' phone records of the suspects.

The move could have been triggered by the new government taking office on January 6.

"Most likely the networking between them had begun much before that. Further investigation will shed light on that," said a high official of a law enforcement agency, requesting anonymity.

The government has held six leaders of the mutiny - all of them non-commissioned officers of the BDR. They have been remanded to custody on court orders and were being interrogated.

Twenty-two more BDR troopers were charged on Thursday, while search teams seized more arms and ammunition from inside the BDR headquarters at Pilkhana in the outskirts of the national capital.

However, there is no clear picture of the total number of the casualties and the extent of pilferage of arms and ammunition during the BDR rebellion, New Age newspaper said.

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