When the entire nation is mourning the tragic anniversary of the Pilkhana Massacre, that took place during February 25-26 in 2009 killing 73 army officers and humiliation of the members of their families, I would like to expose an untold truth about the dubious role of an army officer named Lt. Col. Mukim, who later was "rescued" from the massacre stricken headquarters of the of Bangladesh Riffles [BDR] at Pilkhana in Dhaka, and he continued to give statements giving details of how he survived the entire period of massive brutalities of the members of the border regiment. According to documentary evidence, available with me, this Lt. Col. Mukim [BA 3015] sent fax messages to various individuals from the headquarters of Bangladesh Riffles on February 24, 2009 using the fax number 8340009. One such fax was sent to a senior journalist from 23:52 to 23:53 hours. In this fax message, the sender has put his signature at the bottom of it, and the entire message is written in his own handwriting. This particular document could be one of the most important evidences, which would surely expose the untold truth of the massacre.
In this message, Lt. Col Mukim wrote accused Maj. Gen. Shakil Ahmed Chowdhury [who was brutally murdered along with his wife] of corruption as well as mis-behavior with the members of Bangladesh Riffles. He also blamed Bangladesh Army for murdering two former Presidents of the country [Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Ziaur Rahman] and said, the soldiers of Bangladesh Riffles were rightly pressing their demand. He also suggested that no army offensives should take place at the Pilkhana headquarters of Bangladesh Riffles and said, "in case of any operations by Bangladesh Army, civilian lives will also be lost."
It is also learnt that Lt. Col. Mukim continued to contact with a large number of senior journalists in Bangladesh on the night of February 24, 2009, while most of his colleagues were already murdered and family members of many were being ruthlessly humiliated by the renegade soldiers of Bangladesh Riffles. Being curious at such over-enthusiasm of this army officer, I have personally investigated the background of Lt. Col. Mukim as it is clearly understood that he was one of the masterminds of the massacre inside Bangladesh Riffles, and though the soldiers of Bangladesh Riffles started the mutiny against the on deputation officers of Bangladesh Army, it is curious enough to observe that a mid-level officer of Bangladesh Army was playing active role behind this tragic and barbaric actions.
Lt. Col. Mukim's family is veteran Awami Leaguers and during college life, he was an active member of Bangladesh Chhatra League. Though he joined army during the last tale of Ershad's rule, he was given quick two promotions during the five year tenure of the Bangladesh Awami League during 1996-2001. It is also learnt that during the tenure of military controlled interim government, Lt. Col. Mukim was one of the "best confident" man of General Moeen u Ahmed, and he was keeping secret liaison with top leadership of Bangladesh Awami League since he joined the Bangladesh Army and especially during the two-year misrule of the military controlled interim regime.
Following the bloody massacre at Pilkhana, though the issue of Lt. Col. Mukit's dubious role and his sending of fax messages to various individual from the BDR headquarters were already known to many along with the top intelligence agencies in the country, no action had ever been taken against him, nor he was arrested and charged of such criminal actions. Experts believe interrogation of Lt. Col. Mukit is very important in exposing lots of untold and unknown facts about this bloodiest mutiny in the history of Bangladesh.
It may be mentioned here that, on February 25, 2009 just a month after Bangladesh Awami League formed government, anti-army revolt broke out inside the Head Quarters of Bangladesh Riffles [now Bangladesh Border Guards]. At least 73 army officers were brutally murdered during this mutiny, while a large number of family members of the army officers were humiliated, assaulted and violated by the renegades. Right after the incident, a number of officers expressed their anger in presence of the Prime Minister at the Sena Kunja meeting. They demanded neutral and prompt investigation as well punishment of the culprits.
Government did not allow the members of armed forces and other law enforcing agencies to storm into the Bangladesh Riffles headquarters to rescue the army officers and their family members who were made hostage inside the headquarters of the border security guard by the 'renegade' troops. Instead of allowing army crackdown, the government opted for 'political settlement' of the situation and sent two of the junior leaders of the ruling party to negotiate with the mutineers. In the name of political negotiation, these junior leaders and later many other figures in the government spent almost 32 hours, thus giving opportunity to the mutineers in killing almost all the army officers who were held hostage inside the headquarters of the border security force and violated large number of female members of their families who were also held inside the BDR headquarters.
Right after the bloody massacre at Bangladesh Riffles headquarters in Dhaka, a number of responsible ministers and leaders of the present government started making wild comments on anticipation terming Islamists as well as other elements liable for this tragic incident. But, champion of all in making statements were none but the one and only FARUK KHAN, the grand gala flop minister in the present government in Bangladesh. It is even rumoured that, Faruk manages to continue as the minister despite series of failures because of his extra ordinary connection with someone in Florida. Whatever the fact may be, Faruk Khan made series of comments on the Pilkhana Massacre as well as probe report. It was even reported in the press that he was chosen as the top man to coordinate the 3 probe committees.
Many believe that the Pilkhana Massacre was pre set by anti-Bangladesh elements with a blue print of damaging Bangladesh's border security forces, with the aim of turning Bangladesh ultimately into a sub-servient like some small nations in the region.
Though two years have almost passed since the bloody revolt inside the headquarters of Bangladesh Border Guards, there is no move from the government yet in according homes for the family members of the martyred officers. While the ministers, MPs and political touts of the current government are busy in getting a piece of land for themselves in Dhaka, it is very unfortunate that none of them are even caring to bring the issue of providing houses to the members of martyred army officers. There is also no sign of erecting a monument in the memory of those brave children of Bangladesh, who sacrificed their lives inside the BDR headquarters during February 25-26. It was also reported in the media that, former army chief, General Moeen U Ahmed was reluctant in moving army towards the spot of massacre, by unnecessarily killing time. If this is a fact, surely, General [Retired] Moeen should be immediately brought under Court Martial. Not only Moeen, but anyone, be it a military man or a politician or a mighty members of any 'Untouchable Family' in Bangladesh, none should be spared, who might have minimum hands behind the tragic massacre, and subsequent brutal murder of the army officers.
BY : Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury.