Dhaka, Nov 5: A court in Bangladesh Tuesday awarded the death sentence to 151 guards of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), previously known as Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), who in February 2009 staged a two-day mutiny in the paramilitary force’s headquarters.
Two leaders of Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League party and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party are among the 158 people sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2009 BDR mutiny-murder case, Xinhua reported.
Another 271 were acquitted of all charges.
The court also awarded jail terms ranging from three years to 10 years to 251 border guards.
The court of Dhaka’s Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman, which started delivering the verdict around 12.30 p.m. Tuesday, handed down sentences to 831 accused till 3.15 p.m. local time.
The Bangladesh government had earlier decided to try the accused under the penal code for such offences as killings, attempted murder, looting and arson committed during the mutiny.
Other offences like breach of discipline and defying superiors’ orders at the BGB headquarters in Dhaka and other stations of the force across the country will be treated under BDR laws through formation of special courts.
The maximum punishment under the penal code is death sentence while under the BDR laws it is seven years’ imprisonment.
During the bloody mutiny, 74 people were killed, including 57 officers deputed from the army.
The paramilitary force’s chief, Maj. Gen. Shakil Ahmed, was among those killed.
Nearly 8,000 BDR personnel were present during the mutiny at the headquarters of the paramilitary force which, with around 67,000 personnel, guards the south Asian country’s long border line of 4,427 km with India and Myanmar.