Mutiny holds up trucks, trade
Bangladesh army troopers were spotted at a few places along the border with India amid reports that the mutiny in the Bangladesh Rifles is spreading beyond Dhaka, a top BSF official said.india Updated: Feb 26, 2009 23:51 IST
Bangladesh army troopers were spotted on Thursday at a few places along the border with India amid reports that the mutiny in the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) is spreading beyond Dhaka, a top BSF official said.
The rebellion has also stalled trade between the two countries as well as travelers.
Bangladesh armymen have been seen in areas like Netrakona, Mymensingh and other places bordering Meghalaya and Assam, said the official.
The BSF has observed that BDR personnel have apparently pulled out of regular patrol and surveillance activity. “Our personnel have not observed the routine patrolling parties of BDR nor the personnel since noon yesterday,” the official said.
But at Akhaura border in Agartala a platoon of BDR personnel carrying a blue flag approached the zero line, in an apparent indication that they wanted to speak to the BSF. Instead of the camp in-charge — who usually convenes the ‘flag meeting’ — it was the ordinary riflemen of the BDR, as army officers of all ranks had fled their posts. The BDR men were heavily armed, in uniform, but couldn’t be identified as they didn’t wear nametags.
“We want to tell you there is an internal problem, but we will continue to maintain normal coordination with you,” a BDR man told the BSF.
At their camp in Fakirmura, 3km west of Agartala, BDR has blocked the road leading to India, and a witness said at least 100 loaded trucks have been stalled there.
A long line of goods trucks also dot the Petrapole-Benapole stretch of Bongaon, another border town. Sub-divisional police officer of Bongaon, Subhas Sen, said that trucks, bound for Banagladesh, were stuck on the border. He said bus services between the two countries had also been hit.