February 25, 2009

Trouble in Dhaka: BDR (Border Guards) Mutiny

Updates 2:

According to RTV DG of BDR shoot one BDR Jawan in the morning and he was spot dead. Reason is that he was asking for accountability of the Dal Bhat project. Now some backgrounds of this project. In March 2007 BDR started its project Dal Bhat to sell rice, vegetables and other commodities through BDR mobile outlets to bring down their prices. About six months later 200 more outlets were opened to expand their area of sales. 100 was operated directly by the BDR personnel, 50 by the members of the Ansar and 50 outlets by the volunteers like the students from colleges and universities who were not paid. According to the report In 4 months BDR sold commodities worth 300 million Takas. The Operation Dal Bhat continued in the year 2008 too.

The NTV interview with a rebel BDR member revealed:
Soldier with his mouth covered talking to this channel’s reporter has a whole new take on Operation Daal Bhaat. He says prices were artificially jacked up by high ranking BDR officials who stored commodities on BDR parade grounds and released them slowly to ensure prices went up first.
Deal Reached:

UNB ticker reporting: "PM announces amnesty for rebels; BDR delegation promises to surrender arms."

LGRD's Nanok confirmed the amnesty after meeting of PM with BDR representatives. The Jowans promised that they will turn in arms (possibly by next morning. After Army and RAB are withdrawn). Rebel Jowans are claiming they were fired upon first, during meeting in the Darbar Hall in the morning. They claimed Army has been unfairly depriving them of the money allocated for BDR personnel. DG of BDR Shakil Ahmed is unhurt.

Main Report:

Worrying news are coming from Dhaka. There is a mutiny going inside Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters. Apparently clashes broke out between senior and junior officers as troops have taken control and locked officers. Gun fires and mortar attacks were heard. Police sealed of the surrounding area of BDR headquarters in Dhanmondi. Journalists were seen with bullet vests and they were not given access to the scene. Five people, injured by stray bullets in Jigatala area during gunfight inside BDR Headquarters at Peelkhana this (Wednesday) morning.

There are two unconfirmed rumors:
a) BDR Chief has been shot
b) This is a pre-planned action - the ones who are shooting and killing have red ribbons on their forehead.
c) 46th brigade of the army moved in to quell mutiny. Hundreds of casualty but could not confirm deaths and injuries.
d) Brigadiar Amin (Ansars DG and previously with DGFI) is the plot-planner.

Other worrying developments:
a) Choppers are flying oiver Dhaka and BDR targeted on them
b) Army and RAB could not yet go inside
c) Civilians are being evacuated from Pilkhana. Residents of PWD quarters right next to Rifles have been moved to nearby Jhigatola.
c) There is a rummor of curfew from afternoon.
d) Shops are closing down with the rumor of carfew.
e) Al Jazeera reports that 11 officers have been killed and 60 people are currently hostage
f) No TV station is allowed to cover the event live.
g) Similar disturbances are reported from Rangamati district.
h) Prime Minister urged BDR troops to surrender arms and promised to listen to them for meeting their demands.


a) One Rickshaw puller succumbed to his injuries.
b) The sound of gunfire stopped around BD time 6 PM.
c) A number of children are stuck inside BDR public school. A hostage situation?
d) BDR's Deputy Director General is dead. BDR DG Major General Shakil Ahmed injured?
e) It was confirmed that 12 person has been killed.
e) This has been long planned - all of the sector commanders are there and it appears a lot of them are either injured or killed
f) Escaped BDR jawans are trying to surrender to police in different police stations. Live interview on channel 1.
g) A rebel soldier gives interview to NTV. Tells how it all started. He said they were pressed against wall. They were placing their demands to their DG then Army members started quarrel with them. Firings were exchanged and rebel started. They want Army out of BDR campus. They want to talk with PM

He is telling about corruption of officers in the 'Dal Bhat operation'. They want to live well not with poor conditions. They are now suicidal. They don't fear death.

Rebel's demands:
- PM or Home Minister must come in person to assure the BDR rebels that their demands will be met.
- BDR will solve their own problem Army should not interfere in BDR’s business.
- BDR head should not be appointed from Army.

Rebels describing their plights in an exclusive interview:

Prime Minister’s statement:
- BDR rebels must surrender. Government will meet all their demand.
- Otherwise, there will be strong actions

BD Fact has some questions calling it a defining moment of Bangladesh:
1. What are the actual demands of the BDR personnel? Having its DG from BDR people, not from Army? Did they ask for financial support and additional privileges? For how long these demands were made and not being addressed? Why? We need sequential stories.

2. All sector commanders were present in today's meeting at Darbar Hall. So, it cannot be the case that it was an accident. It must be a preplanned event. Who masterminded this?
Twitter updates:


Live blogging:

With pictures:

BD Fact

News reports:


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