Expressing displeasure over the delay in punishing the perpetrators, BNP on Thursday demanded announcement of the final verdict in the Pilkhana BDR mutiny murder case by this year,
“Long 12 years have elapsed, but it has not been possible to finally dispose of the (Pilkhana) murder case. We’re disappointed and people are shocked over the delay in the trial. This killing case is moving in a very slow pace,” said BNP vice chairman Maj (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed.
“We don’t see any sign that the process of leave-to-appeal will begin this year. We urge the judiciary to ensure a speedy trial of this murder case. We hope the final verdict of this case will be delivered within this year,” he said.
The BNP leader also expected that the condemned convicted in the case will be executed soon after the verdict is pronounced.
Hafiz came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after placing wreaths at a monument set up at Banani Graveyard in memory of the army officials killed in the Pilkhana carnage, marking the 12th anniversary of the incident.
On February 25-26, 2009, a cabal of the then Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) killed 74 people, including 57 army officers, of the paramilitary force at the Pilkhana Headquarters.
On November 5, 2013, a Dhaka court awarded death sentence to 150 BDR members and two civilians, and life imprisonment to 160 others in the case. On November 27, 2017, the High Court confirmed death penalty for 139 out of 152 accused.
Hafiz, a retired army officer, demanded that the report of the Court of Inquiry, headed by the then Quartermaster General Lieutenant General Jahangir, be made public.
He said the perpetrators of the heinous massacre should be punished through a fair investigation and trial as this incident has a serious impact on the national life.
The BNP leader alleged that Pilkhana carnage was carried out to weaken Bangladesh's military. People also want to know it clearly who exactly the beneficiaries of this tragic incident are.”
He alleged that an Awami League leader, who had been sentenced to life term imprisonment by a lower court, was later acquitted. “Only some people, not all those who had direct involvement in the killings, have been brought to justice.”
He said the local and international conspirators who planned the Pilkhana carnage still remained behind the scenes. “Their identities are not clear to people. We urge the government to bring to justice all those who plotted and planned the barbaric killing incident.”
The BNP leader alleged the family of a Subedar Major of then BDR who was killed during the massacre for his efforts to protect the army officers still did not get any support from the government. “I hope the government will immediately give attention to the matter.”
Stating that the families of the slain army officers are living in severe miseries and grief, Hafiz hoped that the offenders of this brutal incident will be brought to justice soon to bring peace to their minds and the souls of the martyrs.
He said their party wants good governance, democracy and the rule of law to be ‘restored’ in the country in a very short time.
Hafiz along with party leaders and ex-army officials went to the graveyard around 10:45am and placed wreaths at a monument and offered special prayers there seeking eternal peace of the departed souls of the slain army officers.
BNP vice chairmen Air Vice Marshal (retd) Altaf Hossain Chowdhury; Maj (retd) Shahjahan Omar, Kalyan Party Chairman Maj Gen (retd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim retired army officers Fazle Elahi Akbar, Colonels Ishaq, Manish Dewan, Kamruzzaman, Majors Hanif, Sarwar Hossain, Saidul Islam and Hasan, were, among others, present.