Bangladesh for reform in BDR post-mutiny

BDR mutiny

Stunned by the rebellion by scores of BDR men over a month back, Bangladesh government has launched an exercise to isolate the "evil" personnel as part of reform and restructuring of the border paramilitary force.

The new BDR chief Maj Gen Mainul Islam said the rebellion was aimed at destabilising the Sheikh Hasina government and create "chaos" in the country at a time when the newly-elected government had just taken over.

Islam, who was made the Bangladesh Rifles Director General after the incumbent Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed was killed in the February 25 mutiny, hinted at involvement of outsiders but refused to elaborate arguing that probe is underway.

Along with Ahmed, 72 army officers, on deputation in BDR, were killed during the two-day siege by scores of paramilitary personnel of the BDR headquarters at Pilkhana.

"Half of the reasons, like salary hike, are ploys, excuses and not real reasons... The intention (of the mutiny) was to destabilise Bangladesh," Islam said.

"We were taking a step forward, entering democracy but many people were there probably who don't like it. So they chose such a timing. They wanted the country to be in chaos with BDR killing military (army) men and military (army) men taking revenge," said Islam, who himself is from the army. The Bangladesh Rifles chief said army conducted itself in a mature manner and under the "prudent leadership" of the Prime Minister, and "things were managed very well".

Asked to comment on reports that a foreign hand could have been behind the mutiny, Islam refused to answer, saying the CID is investigating the matter.

He, however, added that "we need to find out who has done it" and in this regard referred to Hasina's statement that the nation will come to know.

Asked about the corrective steps envisaged after the mutiny, Islam said, "We have to isolate evil from the good (in Bangladesh Rifles)."

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