Bangladesh: Body search continues amid retaliation fears

Relief teams dug through rose gardens at the headquarters of the Bangladesh Rifles Sunday, looking for more than 70 army officers still missing -- and presumed killed -- after a deadly uprising by paramilitary forces last week.

Bangladeshi firefighters continued to uncover bodies Friday of Bangladesh Rifles officers from a mass grave,  CNN reported.

By late Saturday night, 72 bodies had been found floating in a river or in three mass graves inside the compound of the Rifles, or BDR, in the capital city, Dhaka, the Home Ministry said.

Fifty of the dead were confirmed to be army officers, shot or stabbed to death. Another six were Rifles troops, or jawans. The rest of the bodies were too damaged for immediate identification, the ministry said.

But four days since the rebellion, grieving family members keeping vigil outside the headquarters were losing hope of seeing their loved ones alive again. Some men quietly recited verses from the Quran, Islam's holy book, or counted prayer beads. Several women howled in despair and collapsed hopelessly on the pavement.

Sympathy for the mutineers has dried up, a Bangladeshi journalist said.

"The first day of the incident, Bangladeshis were for the BDR. They thought they had legitimate concerns of army officer corruption and denial of basic necessities to them," said Ashraf Kaiser, host of the television show, "Road to Democracy."

"But from the second day, when we started getting news of missing officers and seeing pictures of one body after another being pulled out, the perception changed," he said.
Don't Miss
Reports: Bangladeshi death toll rises amid search for mutineers 
Family checks bodies dragged from river after mutiny 
Mass grave found after Bangladesh mutiny 
Bangladesh says rebellion by mutinous troops ends 

One can see the shift in the media coverage of the mutiny, he said.

"What was being called Pilkhana revolt or rebellion" -- named after the area of the city where the BDR compounds are located -- "is now being dubbed the Pilkhana massacre."

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina initially earned high marks for persuading the jawans to surrender in exchange for amnesty. But now she finds herself in a delicate balancing act: trying to appease an army that demands the killers, who stubbed out the lives of so many of its officers, be punished.

She met for hours Sunday with the army's top officials, and made several concessions.

A committee the Home Ministry set up to investigate the mutiny will be shuffled to include more members from the army's ranks.

She has also backtracked from her promise of amnesty. Killers will face trial, she said, and ordered jawans to return to their posts or report to police stations by the end of the day Sunday.

Hundreds of jawans lined up at a field outside the Pilkhana headquarters, insisting to reporters they fled the compound during the rebellion.

They kissed their loved ones as they waited, assuring wives and fathers they were innocent but asking for their prayers.

The fear of a military take-over is a pervasive one in Bangladesh. The country has experienced a series of coup since its independence in 1971, including one that killed Hasina's father -- the country's independence leader.

The current government itself came to power in December, after two years of an army-backed rule.

"Hasina has her responsibility to keep peace and tranquility and so she did what she did," said Aneeqa Khan, a student who lives not far from the BDR headquarters. "And you can't fault the army from reacting. They lost so many people."

The military did its part to allay fears of retaliation.

"I believe if exemplary punishment is meted out to the people involved directly or indirectly in the mutiny, it will help pacify the anger among our officers and soldiers," Brig. Gen. Mahmud Hossain told reporters.

The standoff started Wednesday when BDR troops rebelled against their commanders. The BDR is a paramilitary force distinct from the army, but its commanders are career army officers.

The Rifles is responsible primarily for guarding the country's borders. The force, more than 65,000-strong, also takes part in operations such as monitoring polls.

The troops staged their rebellion on the second day of BDR Week, when officers and troops from various BDR outposts along the border were in the capital for celebrations.

Discontent had been bubbling for years in the ranks of the BDR, who complained their army superiors dismissed their appeals for more pay, subsidized food and their requests to participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations -- which pay far more than what they make at home.



Bangladesh and its South Asian neighbors are the largest troop contributors to U.N. peacekeeping operations.
During the stand-off, dozens of officers were killed. Some bodies were dumped in mass graves. Others were tossed in sewers that emptied into the Buriganga River, where they floated for miles before being

Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces in protest
Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces in protest
Bank of Israel intervenes in foreign exchange market
Bank of Israel intervenes in foreign exchange market
Israel expects $220 million in non-defence trade with Bahrain in 2021
Israel expects $220 million in non-defence trade with Bahrain in 2021
Loading Bars
Latest
Seven injured in fire at Magellan Corpus Christi, Texas, tank farm
Turkmenistan releases indicators of agro-industrial sector
Portugal to ease COVID-19 restrictions during Christmas, but not for New Year: PM
Trump urges Georgia governor to call special session of state legislature
U.S. COVID-19 deaths top 280,000: Johns Hopkins University
WHO reports over 645,000 new daily cases of COVID-19
Kia recalls 295,000 U.S. vehicles for fire risks
Moscow's death toll from confirmed COVID-19 cases rises by 72 to 9,349
23 dead, 1 rescued in China mine accident
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange revealed
Joint statement from UK PM Johnson and EU's von der Leyen
Death toll from COVID-19 continues to rise as Turkey undergoes 1st weekend lockdown in months
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Gasoline and diesel imports to Georgia increase
Iran declares details of exports from Isfahan Province
Airport in Uzbekistan to buy gas equipment via tender
Students of Azerbaijan British College prepare report of post-occupation state of nature in Azerbaijani Kalbajar region
UK records another 15,539 coronavirus cases with 397 deaths
Violence erupts during Paris protest against police brutality
Remittance inflows from Azerbaijan to Georgia up
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on December 6
Azerbaijani, Russian FMs discuss 10 November statement for ceasefire in Karabakh
Children's becoming victims of war crimes is unacceptable - UNICEF
French photographer talks trip to Azerbaijani Kalbajar liberated from Armenian occupation (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Plan & Budget Organization reveals volume of oil to be sold by Iran next year
Armenian opposition demand Pashinyan's resignation before December 8
Kyrgyzstan allows entry of foreigners and stateless persons
Rouhani calls for broadening Iran-Thailand ties
US gov’t donates 26,000 PCR testing kits to Georgia
Effectiveness of Turkish-made weapons was proven during Karabakh hostilities - Turkish Defense Minister
5.3-magnitude quake hits 49 km SW of Gazipasa, Turkey
PM Johnson and EU chief seek to break Brexit impasse
Azerbaijan teaches a lesson how Nations are built to fight against enemies
U.S. sets record of 227,885 COVID-19 cases in one day: Johns Hopkins University
Azerbaijan names day of holding military parade on victory in Patriotic War (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Today flags with star and crescent embellishing Karabakh sky - Turkey's president
Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to fall
BTK railway project plays important role for logistics dev't in Georgia
Uzbekneftegaz to buy casing pipes via tender
Demand for Turkish steel on Iran's construction market down
Azerbaijan extends COVID-19-related quarantine in some cities, districts
Azerbaijan confirms 4,323 new COVID-19 cases, 2,180 recoveries
Largest volume of metallurgical products falls on Uzbekistan’s Navoi region
Death toll from COVID-19 pandemic in Iran exceeds 50,000
Value of Iranian mining companies increases
Iran talks expenses on construction in Kohgiluyeh & Boyer-Ahmad Province
Preacher appointed to Khudavang monastery in Azerbaijan's Kalbajar
Azerbaijan presents first locally manufactured high-tech prostheses (PHOTO)
Azerenergy issues time framing to restore power plants in liberated Sugovushan (VIDEO)
Georgia reports new record-high 5,450 coronavirus cases
Russia, Kazakhstan reach agreements on anti-COVID vaccine production
Volume of trade turnover in Turkmenistan increases
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for December 5
Armenians destroyed all historical, religious items in churches of Azerbaijan - Albano-Udi Orthodox community
Albanian-Udi Christian Community returns to Khudavang monastery in Kalbajar (VIDEO)
Oil market still to see some bumpy months
Indicators of Turkmenistan’s construction, industrial sector increase
Azerbaijani oil prices continue to rise
Azerbaijan reduces imports of Turkish-made carpets
Iran announces date for launch of Ardabil-Mianeh railway
Azerbaijan gives martyr status to civilians killed due to Armenia's attacks on peaceful cities
Azerbaijani Bar Association appeals to int'l organizations regarding Armenian aggression
UK Maritime Trade Operations says aware of attack on vessel off Yemen coast
Number of enterprises put into operation in Iran's Kermanshah Province soars
Special offer for volunteers!
Iran discloses details of exports from Fars Province
Baku - leading capital of CIS in terms of economic activity index - Gazprombank
Data of Turkmen transport, communication sector revealed
Azerbaijani banking sector's overall profit drops
Turkmenistan exceeds plan for oil and gas condensate production
Iranian currency rates for December 5
Loan portfolio of trade, services sector in Azerbaijan grows
Кazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company opens tender for vehicle maintenance
Foreign investment in Iran increases
GDP growth observed in Turkmenistan
LNG share in Turkey’s natural gas imports reaches 43% in H1 this year
U.S. not extending TikTok divestiture deadline, but talks will continue
ADB allocates $2.5 mln to support Georgia amid pandemic
Italy's retail sales climb higher in October, pushed by demand for electronic equipment
4 regions in coronavirus red zone in Kazakhstan
Iran's UNESCO envoy urges condemnation of assassination of Iranian scientist
France's daily COVID-19 infections continue to fall
Embassy of Japan in Georgia reveals volume of trade turnover between two countries
Arab League welcomes Kuwait's efforts to "heal Arab rifts"
World Bank grants Morocco 400-mln-USD loan
Azerbaijan slows down imports of Turkish-made leather goods
Additional costs could add up to 2.8 billion dollars, Tokyo 2020 says
Trump to withdraw most troops from Somalia as part of global pullback
UK, EU call in leaders to save trade talks
Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces in protest
Azerbaijan discloses volume of liabilities in banking sector
Heydar Aliyev Center, Flame Towers and Baku Olympic Stadium illuminated with Azerbaijani flag (PHOTO)
NY Times publishes article on the fate of Ciraqli village during Karabakh conflict
South Africa's second largest crude refinery shutdown after blast
1st China-bound freight train departs on 12-day journey from Istanbul
Chip shortages could slow automotive production, VW and suppliers say
Russia, India kick off joint naval drills in Indian Ocean
NCDC to study COVID-19 reinfection cases
Turkey reports over 32,736 new COVID-19 cases
Azerbaijan unveils funds value received by Armed Forces Relief Fund as of December 1
All news