Saturday, February 28, 2009


The army guy at the gates dangled a carrot in front of us. "We'll let you all in if we find anything," he said. "But only if you're disciplined and behave yourselves."

He let us in, that tease, just to see people dredging the pond near the gate.

BDR Mutiny - Aftermath

But he kept to his word when he let us in because they had discovered new mass graves. But the mass graves - the star attraction - was the last stop of the media excursion into the compound. We stopped by the offices and the home of the BDR leader first. I think that put us in good stead in terms of preparing ourselves mentally for what we were going to see later.

BDR Mutiny - Aftermath

The office of Major General Shakil Ahmed, who was the army officer in charge of the BDR. His chair had been burnt out (how come?) but no blood stains anywhere despite the bullet holes in the wall behind.

BDR Mutiny - AftermathBDR Mutiny - AftermathBDR Mutiny - AftermathBDR Mutiny - Aftermath

Time stood still in those rooms. The newspaper was from the day of the mutiny - the front page showing the prime minister decorating BDR soldiers at an awards ceremony the day before. For some reason, there were a lot of photos scattered around. And I also saw more than one cheque book on the table. Thought it was odd.

It was strange, to say the least, to be trampling all over what I imagine to be evidence - shouldn't some things be cordoned off at least? Photographers and reporters and camera men were ruffling through things everywhere, flipping through pages, opening windows and doors, moving stuff. Well, I can only hope the investigators has already been through it.

Then again, the news report later in the afternoon (after every living media person in Dhaka had been through the place) had the Home Minister saying she wanted everything "preserved" for "evidence". Tough luck, lady.

I wasn't exactly prepared to enter the Major's house. This was a private residence, and here we were, thronging through every nook and cranny and getting a glimpse of what their last moments were.

BDR Mutiny - Aftermath

The heavy, sticky smell of blood hit when you entered the house. The second floor didn't smell as bad, which is strange, because that's where most of the blood seemed to be.

BDR Mutiny - Aftermath

If you'll note from my previous post, I'm not sure if this photo (or any other item) was already there or "happened" to have been placed there by a photographer who entered the room before me.

BDR Mutiny - Aftermath

BDR Mutiny - AftermathBDR Mutiny - Aftermath

BDR Mutiny - AftermathBDR Mutiny - Aftermath

BDR Mutiny - Aftermath

Nothing in the house had been left untouched.

BDR Mutiny - Aftermath

BDR Mutiny - AftermathBDR Mutiny - Aftermath

They found 10 bodies in the graves, including the wife of the Major. I wasn't nearby when they pulled her out. I was sitting at a corner and looking at the scene - but I knew they had found her body when everyone rushed over.

I went back to my house and had a very, very long bath.


Sabirul said...

Its a shame… its a shame. Its obvious that the BDR atrocity was not merely over their demand for better pay or ration but something that is not yet obvious.

I condemn the fierce killings of member of arm forces and their family that took place that day. Such brutal act cannot go unpunished.

The army has shown great patience and maturity in holding back their emotions and the way they dealt the situation.

Its undoubtedly remarkable the way the honorable PM Shekh Hasina handled the situation.

The country and all the political parties should now work together to identify the culprits and bring them to justice.

My heart goes out to all the souls that were lost and the family of the effected who have a difficult time ahead of them.