Dhaka replaces top intelligence chiefs


Dhaka : The Bangladesh government has changed its top civil intelligence chiefs following allegations of failure to know beforehand about last month’s mutiny by border guards.

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Chiefs of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Special Branch (SB) and the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) were replaced Saturday by the home ministry that issued two separate gazette notifications, the New Age newspaper said.

A debate and discussion has taken place at the ministerial level of the role of the Directorate General of Field Intelligence, the military intelligence outfit.

The government is perceived as taking corrective measures after the Feb 25-26 mutiny by troopers of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) targeted army officers on deputation, killing an estimated 60 officers.

The figure of the dead, including family members of some of the army officers, is put at about 80.

The government is conducting a high level probe to know how and why the mutiny happened. The charge of “conspiracy by outsiders” has been frequently levelled and the evidence indicates infiltration by banned Islamist militant outfits.

Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan Saturday said the motive for the last month’s carnage was “to destabilise the country and hinder its progress under a democratic government”.

“They (mutiny plotters) thought the army would counter-attack in response to the BDR mass killings, and things would eventually lead to a civil war-like situation,” he was quoted as saying by The Daily Star Sunday.

“Separate investigation committees have been formed to probe this,” Khan said.

Teams of the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the British Scotland Yard are here. They visited the BDR headquarters at Pilkhana on the outskirts of the city and talked to officials.

The mutiny was the first serious challenge to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who led a multi-party alliance to a massive victory in last December.

Hasina told her party colleagues Saturday that the BDR rebellion was part of the conspiracies that were still continuing. She asked them to be vigilant.

“The BDR rebellion was a part of the conspiracy to put the government in trouble and the conspiracy has not ceased… We have to face up to the plot along with the people,” an aide quoted her as saying after a meeting.