BNP pledges ‘fair trial’ for Peelkhana massacre if elected to form government

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-02-25 15:45:40 BdST


The BNP will initiate a ‘proper investigation leading to a fair trial’ over the Peelkhana massacre in 2009, if they form the government again, the party's Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said.

He made the remarks while speaking to journalists on Tuesday after paying respects to the murdered army officers on the 11th anniversary of the massacre.

“Those who were accused in the BDR massacre said that the trial was not fair. The probe panel formed by the army at the time never published a full report,” said Fakhrul.

“We also feel that the trial was unfair. We’ll definitely take an initiative to run an impartial investigation and a fair trial.”

Seventy-four people, including 57 army officers, were murdered by mutineers on Feb 25-26 in 2009 inside the erstwhile Bangladesh Rifles headquarters in the capital’s Peelkhana.

An internal trial was conducted by the force through which, 6,000 soldiers were jailed. Later, a general court began a trial proceedings over the massacre.

A Dhaka Judge Court subsequently handed down death sentences to 152 of the accused and life imprisonment to 160 others. Another 256 accused were fined and given jail terms in 2013.

The High Court upheld the death sentence of 139 accused in 2017. It also jailed 185 for life while another 228 were given different jail terms.

The BNP secretary general labelled the massacre a ‘conspiracy’ and said, “The murders were done to demoralise the army which is the emblem of our independence and sovereignty.”

“Today, our independence is at stake. There’s no democracy in the country. Khaleda Zia, our leader who never compromised her principles has been jailed illegally.”