More bodies found, slain officials’ burials put off

The scheduled namaj-e-janaza (final prayer before burial) of the Army officers killed during mutiny of paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) border guards at the Army headquarters was postponed as more dead bodies were being retrieved from more mass graves at Pilkhana.
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Updated on Feb 28, 2009 11:23 PM IST
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None | ByRahman Jahangir, Dhaka

The scheduled namaj-e-janaza (final prayer before burial) of the Army officers killed during mutiny of paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) border guards at the Army headquarters on Saturday was postponed as more dead bodies were being retrieved from more mass graves at Pilkhana.

Firefighters dug up 10 more bodies in mass graves on Saturday, raising the death toll to 76 in the force’s two-day mutiny, officials said.

A Defence Ministry announcement said, as more mass graves of the massacre by BDR members have been discovered at Pilkhana and dead bodies of more Army officers and their relatives are being recovered, the janaza and burial were postponed, adding that the changed schedule would be announced later.

The massacre of so many army officers has reason to trigger anger among other military officials and thousands of relatives of the victims.

TV footage on Friday showed angry military officials shouting at mediapersons for carrying views of mutineers against military officials.

Meanwhile, TV channels showed a senior army officer saying that trial of those who killed scores of army officers will be fast-tracked.

UN condemns mutiny

UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon expressed his distress at the mounting death toll in the violent two-day mutiny by troopers of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR).

He condemned such brutal acts of violence and extended his deepest sympathies to the victims, to their families and to the people and government of Bangladesh, a release from the UN office in Dhaka said Saturday.

The secretary general called for “calm and the resolution of this situation without further violence”, the release said.

The UN organisations in Bangladesh also extended their most profound sympathies to all those affected by these barbarous acts of violence, and to the people and government of Bangladesh during this time of intense shock and unfathomable grief.

“We pray for the departed souls that they may rest in peace. And we hope that all will unite to help the recovery from this national tragedy in a spirit of peace and national oneness, for the good of the nation," the release added.

Thousands of BDR troopers staged a bloody revolt against their commanding officers deputed from the army over pay and other benefits Wednesday morning.

With inputs from Agencies

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