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Bangladesh mutiny probe
Dhaka, Mar 1 (IANS):
Published on 2 Mar. 2009 1:50 AM IST
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Hasina seeks FBI help to identify ring leaders Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday sought help from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to find out the ringleaders of the mutiny and bloodshed by the country’s border guards. Hasina sought the assistance during a telephone conversation with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher on Sunday morning, according to a foreign ministry statement. During the phone talk, the prime minister observed that the February 25-26 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) mutiny might be part of a “conspiracy”, the Daily Star reported. She sought assistance of the FBI in the investigation to dig out real culprits and mete out appropriate punishment to them. The US embassy in a statement said Boucher, on behalf of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, telephoned Hasina to express continued support for the Bangladesh government and its people. Boucher lauded the government’s efforts to assist the survivors, honour those who were killed, and bring those guilty to justice. He stressed the importance of national unity during this crucial time and encouraged all Bangladeshis to work together to overcome this “national tragedy”. The senior state department official emphasised, in particular, the importance of cooperation between the government and the opposition to resolve the crisis. Meanwhile, six Bangladesh Rifles personnel were on Sunday identified by police as the ringleaders of the 33-hour mutiny that wiped out nearly the entire batch of army officers serving in the paramilitary force. Police on Sunday filed murder charges against 1,000 members of BDR, initially suspecting six of them to have led the rebellion. “We accused them of killing the officers and their family members in a planned manner,” an official at the Dhaka’s Lalbagh police station said. The four BDR deputy assistant directors (DADs) and two lower-rank soldiers are accused of leading the revolt, taking hostage, setting fire and hiding the bodies of the officials and their spouses. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday went to Dhaka Cantonment in her bid to quell the anguish in army, staying there for several hours for talks with officers.

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