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56 more Bangladesh border guards convicted for mutiny

Another 56 troopers of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), the country's border guards, were on Monday convicted for staging a violent mutiny last year in which 71 people, including the force's commander, were killed.

world Updated: Apr 19, 2010 19:37 IST

Another 56 troopers of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), the country's border guards, were on Monday convicted for staging a violent mutiny last year in which 71 people, including the force's commander, were killed.

The 56 were of the total 60 accused of the 7 Rifles Battalion. The remaining four were acquitted.

BDR Director General Maj. Gen. Mohammed Mainul Islam, who was presiding over the trial, read out the judgment at Satkhira on the south western border with India. Of the 56, 24 were given the highest punishment of seven years' imprisonment as per the BDR law, Star Online, w4eb site of The Daily Star newspaper said.

The rest were sentenced to terms of imprisonment from four months to five years.

With this - the fourth judgment in the mutiny trials, the total number of BDR personnel convicted so far rose to 173.

Earlier, 20 troopers of 25 Rifles Battalion, 40 of 20 Rifles Battalion and 57 of 19 Rifles Battalion were sentenced to different terms of imprisonment. The BDR chief has been presiding over the special courts trying the accused in various border towns.

Thousands of troopers stationed at the BDR headquarters at Pilkhana in the heart of Dhaka unauthorisedly drew arms and attacked the force's entire officer corps that was holding a meeting on Feb 25 last year.

Among the 57 Bangladesh Army officers, on deputation to the BDR, gunned down on the spot was BDR chief, Maj. Gen. Shakil Ahmed.

The mutiny spread to other centres leaving the 4,300 km border with India and 300 km with Myanmar largely unmanned.