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Bangladesh Rifles Mutiny verdict revealed
Nov 06, 2013

A Bangladeshi court has sentenced to death 152 soldiers in one of the world's biggest ever mass criminal trials for their role in a 2009 mutiny and massacre of 74 people, including top army officers. 

Members of the Bangladesh Rifles, a paramilitary force which guards Bangladesh’s borders, took up arms on 25 and 26 February 2009, over a period spanning thirty six hours to revolt for demands for better remuneration and working conditions.  February’s mutiny had a massive cost in terms of human lives. Horrific images appeared of mutilated bodies thrown in mass graves. A total of fifty nine officers of the Bangladesh Army seconded to BDR, including some members of the paramilitary, were killed during the mutiny.  The victims included the Director General of the BDR, a two star general, one Brigadier General and more than ten colonels and number of other officers. The case exposed deep tensions between the government and the military. The military was furious with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for negotiating with the mutineers instead of allowing the army to attack. 

It has also been one of the most sensitive, rivalled only by verdicts throughout this year by a tribunal investigating war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence.

Of those being tried at the special makeshift courthouse, some 152 were sentenced to death, 159 given life sentences and the remainder received sentences of between three to 10 years. About 277 were acquitted. They are also slapped with fines ranging from Tk 5,000 ($64 approximately) to Tk 50,000 ($640) for their involvement in looting, trespass, hiding bodies and unlawful assembly 

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