Nation paying tribute to Pilkhana martyrs

The 12th anniversary of the atrocious carnage at the Pilkhana BDR (now BGB) headquarters in the capital is being observed on Thursday.

A total of 74 people, including 57 Army officers, were killed in the carnage beginning on this day in 2009.

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) has organised Quran Khawani, doa, and milad mahfil, marking the day.

Major General S M Salahuddin Islam, Military Secretary to the President, Major General Nakib Ahmed, Military Secretary to the Prime Minister, placed floral wreaths at the graves of the slain army officers at the Military Graveyard in the capital's Banani on behalf of the President and the Prime Minister respectively, said a press release of ISPR.

Besides, Home Minister, chiefs of the three services-- Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed, Acting Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral M Abu Ashraf and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat, Director General of BGB Major General Md Shafeenul Islam also paid their tributes to the slain army officers.

They also stood in solemn silence for a while.

During the day, family members and relatives of the slain officers paid their tributes to the slain Army officers.

BGB flags are being flown at half-mast at all Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) installations and all BGB members are wearing black badges to mark the day.

A special prayer and milad mahfil will be held on Friday after Juma prayers at BGB Central Mosque, Dhaka Sector Mosque and Border Guard Hospital Mosque at Pilkhana to seek salvation of the departed souls. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan will be present as the chief guest at the BGB Central Mosque.

Besides, the senior secretary to the Public Security Division of the Home ministry, director general of BGB, relatives of the martyrs, all officers working at Pilkhana, among others, will join the prayers.

On February 25, 2009, several hundred Bangladesh Rifles (now BGB) men staged an armed revolt at the Darbar Hall of the force's Pilkhana headquarters during the three-day "BDR Week". They killed 74 people, including 57 Army officers.

The mutiny finally ended the following day (Feb 26) with the surrender of firearms, ammunition and grenades through a negotiation between the then government and the BDR rebels.

A total of 58 cases, including one for murder and looting, and the remaining for mutiny were filed in connection with the mutiny.

Some 152 people were sentenced to death and 423 others to different jail terms in the killing case. Besides, 277 accused were acquitted in the country’s largest-ever killing case.

Among the convicts, 262 mutineers were sentenced to different jail terms ranging from three months to 19 years, and 161 people, including late BNP leader Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu and local Awami League leader Torab Ali, were jailed for life.

On the other hand, 5,926 BDR personnel were sentenced to different jail terms ranging from four months to seven years in the 57 mutiny cases.

Source: United News of Bangladesh