Bangladesh charges 824 in deadly 2009 mutiny | world | Hindustan Times
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Bangladesh charges 824 in deadly 2009 mutiny

world Updated: Jul 12, 2010 21:32 IST
Mosharraf Hossain Kazal

Bangladeshi police charged 824 people, most of them border guards, with murder, arson and other criminal acts in last year's deadly mutiny among security forces, officials said today.

The guards revolted over alleged discrimination and demands for higher pay and other perks enjoyed by army officers, who control troops along the frontier.

Of the 74 people killed, 57 were military commanders. Several civilians including two politicians were among those charged today, said chief investigator Abdul Kahar Akhanda, calling the February 2009 mutiny a pre-planned and cold-blooded massacre. State prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kazal said the accused will face the death penalty.

The border guard revolt rattled a new government, taking place just two months after the influential military, which has backed 21 coups in the country's 38-year history, relinquished power to civilian rule.

The army was angry with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's handling of the mutiny, which ended through negotiations, including offers of amnesty.

When dozens of bodies were discovered in shallow graves or sewers, the government rescinded the amnesty offer for leaders of the revolt. Hasina has said she will ensure justice for the families of the victims.

The mutiny started in Dhaka and spread nationwide. The mutineers opened fire, blocked roads and drove commanding officers from offices and homes.

Investigators have questioned 9,500 border guards and civilians and detained 2,307 suspects in what is the country's largest criminal case.