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Border guards attempted uprising in 37 places: report

world Updated: Mar 30, 2009 12:32 IST

IANS
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The February mutiny by Bangladesh border guards in which over 80 people were killed was not confined to the Pilkhana headquarters near Dhaka. Investigators have identified 37 more places across the country where troopers attempted rebellion, a media report said.

These were abortive attempts where personnel of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) withdrew arms from the armoury without authority and attempted rebellion, The Daily Star said quoting unnamed investigating officials.

Developments at different BDR battalions across the country show that what began at the headquarters at Pilkhana in the heart of the national capital could have spread, triggering a "civil war".

More than 80 people, including BDR chief Major General Shakil Ahmed and 54 Bangladesh Army officers, were gunned down or bayoneted to death on February 25-26 by troopers who said they had grievances about wages and working conditions.

The government has said it was ""a conspiracy" involving "outside elements" that led to organised killing aimed at pitting the army against the BDR.

"In many BDR battalion offices a band of soldiers took up arms and ammunition from the arsenals and attempted to commit the same offences that occurred in Pilkhana," an investigator told The Daily Star wishing anonymity.

At the BDR's first coordination meeting in the Dhaka Cantonment on March 9, new Director General Brig General Md Mainul Islam listened to details about the incidents at different BDR battalions across the country.

Following the meeting, a move to investigate the mutiny in BDR battalions outside Dhaka was initiated and investigators have so far detected 37 spots of attempted uprisings. In some cases, soldiers not only attempted to hold officers hostage but also came out in civil areas with arms.

The investigators say they have made a good progress in identifying the mutineers but did not give details, the newspaper said.