Dhaka, Jun 16 (bdnews24.com) – A special Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) court on Saturday sentenced 611 border guards of the 13th Rifles Battalion out of 621 accused to up to seven years in jail for their role in the 2009 Peelkhana mutiny.
Fifty-five members of the battalion were awarded the highest seven years in jail as they were found guilty of charges including participating in the mutiny, breaking the rules of the force and encouraging others to join the rebellion.
The court also acquitted 10 accused as they were not found guilty of any charges.
Saturday's verdict was unrelated to the murder involving the mutiny. The charges of murder are being handled separately in civil courts.
Chief of the Special Tribunal, BGB Deputy Director General Brigadier General Abu Sayeed Khan, pronounced verdict against 324 accused before lunch break.
'Moeen', who initiated the mutiny at the Peelkhana Darbar Hall, was a member of the battalion. The mutiny led to an overhaul of the border force with the name being changed to Border Guard Bangladesh and a change in uniform colours.
Then Subedar Mohammad Farid Uddin Ahmed of the same battalion placed charges against 623 members of the battalion at the special court set up at Peelkhana to try perpetrators of the mutiny on Apr 15, 2010. The court took the charges into cognisance the same day.
Two of the accused in the case died in prison.
A total 293 members are currently standing trial in a case for killings during the mutiny.
In the mutiny that lasted two days -Feb 25-26, 2009- left 57 army officials including then BDR chief Major General Shakil Ahmed dead.
The mutiny also spread to the border force's stations across the country.