Friday, February 27, 2009

Khaleda demands inquiry to try killers of BDR massacre

According to UNB opposition leader Khaleda Zia Friday demanded trial and punishment of the killers at the BDR headquarters by identifying them through proper inquiry into each incident of killing and torture.In a statement she read out at a press briefing at her Gulshan office at about 8:15 pm, Khaleda said declaration of general amnesty for the rebels by keeping army men and their family members inside the BDR headquarters was strategically a big mistake.

“This”, she observed, “increased the number of casualties further.”She, however, said the government has already said those involved in the killings would not come under the general amnesty. The BNP chairperson said it has now become crystal clear that provocation from anti-state force was behind the incident. Khaleda said she, along with the people of the country, demand that the conspiracy behind the mutiny be unveiled.

The BNP chairperson who visited Dhaka Cantonment Military Hospital (CMH) this (Friday) afternoon to see the bodies of slain army officers and the injured said, “I have no word to express the terrible and brutal incidents described by the family members of the slain army officers and injured.”She said they told her that after the killing the dead bodies were even hit by bayonets and the women and children were tortured to death.

Khaleda said it is clear that there was a delay in giving permission to start operation to rescue the army members and their family members kept hostage in Pilkhana, resulting in increased casualties.“Everybody knows that time was wasted in the name of discussions, and responsibility was given to a very junior-level delegation,” she said.The leader of the opposition said the nation wants to know how the killers after surrendering arms following announcement of general amnesty could flee.

“I think the government should come up with specific information over these matters in the national interest,” she said.Mentioning the heroic role of the BDR in safeguarding the country’s borders, Khaleda said, “It has become urgent to reorganize this force and establish the chain of command for upholding that tradition.” She said the unrest and mistrust which have broken out across the country among various forces should be resolved soon for the sake of national interest.The BNP chief said it is not the time neither for revenge nor for vengeance as “we as a nation is now in a big trouble.”

Stressing the importance of highest alert and unity at the moment, she called upon all to maintain that. Khaleda also called upon the party leaders and workers, and the countrymen to observe the national mourning day in memory of those killed, “even though it was declared of late”.

The opposition leader saw at the CMH the bodies of the army members killed in the Pilkhana incident and talked to the family members of the deceased.She also visited the injured at the hospital. Khaleda also took part in a munajat with the family members of the slain army officers after their namaj-e-janza.

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