Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Standoff at BDR

I was in the car near Gulistan at about 11:30am when I got a call from my Aunt who sounded quite alarmed - "Do you know trouble has broken out in BDR and there is lots of shooting. Army and BDR are fighting. Go home and don't go out of the house." Two minutes earlier, as I was getting in the car, I had overheard a man speaking on his mobile " have lots of people died?" I should have stopped and asked him, but can you really butt in like that?

From the car I made several calls and found out that the BDR (Bangladesh Rifles) - or some members thereof - had indeed mutinied to vent their demands for higher wages etc. It was not clear who they had shot at - one version said their own higher-ups, another version said random shooting. What was clear was the Army and RAB (a SWAT-like task force) had been brought in to contain the mutiny. My friend in that area confirmed that they were setting up machine guns and heavy armaments outside the BDR headquarter, in what looks like a standoff.

In the meantime Prime Minister has apparently sent a delegation to negotiate with BDR and bring this thing to a peaceful end. A curfew is expected tonight. I got two SMS's from my kids' school about limited bus services and cancelling tonight's school events. What's weirder, I got an SMS from another school (where my kids have never attended) asking parents to pick up their kids.

I really really hope and pray that this thing ends without further bloodshed.


Subhan said...

Just when I thought, Bangladesh is heading for peace, this!


February ar August mash ashle Bangali'r ki hoi?

ulysses said...

I hear speculation that a big grievance is non-inclusion in the peacekeeping forces. I imagine we will learn a lot more in coming days. Good thing we have free press here.