Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Conspiracy against Bangladesh Army?

Prior to the general election in 2008, only son of the current Prime Minister wrote an article jointly with another writer at Harvard University newsletter, where he commented that Bangladesh Army is filled with "Islamists" most of whom are joining the army from madrassa education. There had also been series of propaganda against the Forces Intelligence [known as DGFI] as well as Rapid Action Battalion [RAB], while there had been series of "voices" and "lobbying" in the West demanding dismantling DGFI as well as RAB. Since Bangladesh Awami League came in power with sweeping majority in the election of December 28, 2008, a number of ruling party leaders, including Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, MP; Suranjit Sen Gupta, MP, Abdul Jalil etc are seen raising voice against army through their self-styled hate speech, portraying the Bangladesh Army as "power mongers", "culprits" and "enemy of democracy". It may be mentioned here that, after a military backed interim government came in power on January 11, 2007, most of the mentioned politicians were booked on corruption and nepotism charges.

Following the bloody mutiny, which took place inside the head quarters of Bangladesh Riffles [now renamed], where 73 army officers were brutally murdered, while members of their families humiliated, several leaders of the ruling party and even opposition went into visibly syndicated propaganda against Bangladesh Army.

But in recent days, such conspiracy against Bangladesh Army seems to have reached at the pick. There is also information about certain quarters, spreading wrong information about Bangladesh Army and other law enforcing agencies, within United Nations, which possibly is aimed at defaming these institutions. As result of such heinous attempt, several international organizations have even issued statements against DGFI and Bangladesh Army.

During first week of November 2011, an email was circulated by someone named Robert Barrows. This email was titled as "Massive Corruption in DGFI". Content of the email, attached in PDF format was containing information on one of the top most officials of the Forces Intelligence. The entire email was specifically aligned towards defaming that top most official, thus terming him as an "Islamist agent".

Few weeks later, another email was again circulated from Australia and sent to various newspapers in Bangladesh, with the request of publishing the content of the email. While no newspaper in Bangladesh showed interest in such strange email statement, a vernacular daily with heavy Islamist affiliation carried front page report on the contents of this questioned email.

In the front-page report, the vernacular daily said, Bangladesh Army has already restricted entrance of journalists within the garrison areas and the reporters of that daily newspaper failed to enter the cantonment area to verify the contents of the email. The vernacular daily also claimed that it contacted Inter Service Press Relations [ISPR] office to check the contents of the email, while numerous calls from them were ignored by the director of ISPR and later they were told that, ISPR was unable to make any comment on this issue and suggested the newspaper to contact Army Headquarters of Forces Intelligence for checking any such information.

The report titled 'Doubts centering Major Zia' said that, a 'Statement' has been issued on Facebook and via emails by one Major Ziaul Huq aka Major Zia, who claims to be an officer from 41 long course of Bangladesh Military Academy. It said, reporters of the vernacular daily wanted to visit the described official residence of the sender of the email, while they were kept waiting at the 'gate' and later were told that, entrance of the reporters within garrison area is restricted.

The newspaper carried the translated version of the entire email and at the end of the report, it quoted an ex army officer Barrister Sarwar Hossain, who hinted that two army officers were held inside the cantonment area for weeks, without any specific allegation. He said, according to Army Act of 1952 [Section 75], court martial should be formed within 8 days of arresting any of the army officers or members of the Armed Forces. Barrister Sarwar Hossain was quoted by the vernacular daily saying, these army officers were arrested on July 9, 2011 and July 12, 2011 while they were on duty.

He further said, these two army officers are kept into custody for more than 150 days without any 'evidence' or 'charges'.