Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
According to a report published in Dhaka’s leading vernacular daily Manabzamin, four killer Bangladesh Riffles [BDR] men fled the country on March 2, 2009 by Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight number BG-049 to Saudi Arabia. With the help of a very influential quarter in the government, not only the flight was delayed for two hours, but the killer BDR men were boarded on the aircraft through a special passage of the boarding bridge, minutes before the flight.
Members of the intelligence agencies arrested another BDR troop named Rafiqul Islam, when he was also attempting to flee to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. Rafiqul was trying to leave the country by Saudia, Saudi Arabian Airlines flight number SB-801 in the noon.
It is further learnt that, some influential quarters managed safe exit of these killers to a number of foreign destination right after the brutal massacre ended at the Bangladesh Riffles headquarters. Passports and visas of a number of killers were arranged in advanced prior to staging of the brutal massacre. Photographs and other details of the fugitives will also be put online on the websites of Rapid Action Battalion and Bangladesh Police, a source said.
Meanwhile, people in the know have been requested to inform the Army Headquarters control room, apart from the nearest police station, about the runaway BDR rebels from the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters and different camps.
“Confidentiality of the informers will be protected,” said an ISPR release issuing the public notice on Wednesday when a countrywide drive code-named ‘operation rebel hunt’ for rounding up the mutineers is already underway.
The contact numbers of the Army Headquarters control room are: [880-2] 8712197,  01713333 256.
It is further learnt that investigating agencies are trying to publish the photographs of the absconding BDR men and suspected killers.
US Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] has agreed to help Bangladesh in forensic investigation into the BDR carnage.
Acting Deputy State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid told a regular press briefing in Washington Tuesday that they have received a request from the Bangladesh government for the FBI help in forensic investigation.
“I believe the FBI has agreed to do that,” Duguid told a correspondent. He, however, could not give further details about when, where and how the FBI will work.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sought the FBI assistance during telephone conversation with US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Richard Boucher on March 1. Boucher spoke on behalf of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and offered the US assistance.
In another development, the Bogra unit of RAB-12 arrested Azizar Rahman Nannu, father of rebel BDR soldier Abdur Rahman Nilu, and seized goods worth TK 1.2 million including TK 300,000 in cash, ornaments and other valuables which were robbed from the officers’ residences in the BDR headquarters. RAB arrested him, after receiving secret information, at Chalitabari and seized the valuables and money which were buried.
Nilu on February 26 called in his father Nannu, 60, to his rented house at Hazaribagh in Dhaka and handed over TK 300,000 in cash, gold ornaments, a Siemens mobile set, a wrist watch and a bottle of shampoo, said RAB sources.
A team of RAB-12, led by Major Abu Nasar Mohammad Mostafa, conducted a drive at Bidupara village of Lahiripara union at 4am on Wednesday after getting secret information. Nannu was nabbed in Chalitabari, a nearby village.
Nannu confessed the truth during primary interrogation. Acting on the information provided by him, the team recovered a sack full of valuables and money that was buried in a rice-field at Chalitabari, said sources.
Nannu, said his son on Saturday called him to his house at Hazaribagh and gave him the sack in the presence of another soldier, Jahangir, and told hip to keep it carefully. He, however, claimed he did not know anything about the things inside the sack.
Major Mostafa said that Nannu knew about the money. He will be sent to the BDR headquarters as the incident took place there. He also informed reporters that the six bundles of TK 500 notes were withdrawn on February 10 from the Trust Bank’s principal branch and Sonali Bank of Dhaka.
Meanwhile, according to reports, it was learnt that, during the 2-day long massacre inside the BDR headquarters, at least 500 Arges grenades and a large number of arms and ammunitions disappeared from the place of occurance. Security experts fear that disappreared grenades and arms would remain as a potential threat to country’s law and order situation.
The police on Wednesday recovered two live grenades from a toilet of outpatient department of Rangpur Medical College Hospital.
In another incident, grenade explosion on the premises of Chapainawabganj police station left a police inspector’s son dead and two other children injured on Wednesday noon.
The police said three children, two of them sons of two assistant sub inspectors, were injured as a bomb went off inside the boundary of the police station in the district headquarters at about 12:45pm.
‘A bomb exploded with a big bang when the children were playing behind the police barracks,’ said a police officer. The injured – Al Amin, 10, son of ASI [Assistant Sub Inspector] Ataur Rahman, Mamun, 7, son of ASI Rafique, and Mehedi, 10, son of cook of thana mess Khodeza – were taken to Sadar Hospital. They were shifted to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital with critical condition. Al Amin died at RMCH at about 6:30 pm on Wednesday, the sources said.
Political and defense analysts in Bangladesh believe it is of crucial importance in the interest of the nation that the February 25-26 massacre by troops against officers at the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters in the capital Dhaka and the concomitant carnage are thoroughly investigated, and the perpetrators and their instigators, if any, identified, arrested, prosecuted and punished. Such actions are needed to put all Bangladesh defense forces, military and paramilitary, on a stronger footing, which is very important for a nation state to thrive on in the international state system.