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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tension runs high as BDR mutineers still immovable

Bangladesh troop mutiny kills nearly 50 : Minister
Dhaka, 26 February : Nearly 50 people were killed when Bangladeshi paramilitary troops mutinied over a pay dispute at their headquarters in Dhaka, a government minister said on Thursday.
The mutinous soldiers began laying down their arms after accepting an offer of amnesty from the government, but the uprising in the capital on Wednesday underscored the challenges facing new Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
"Nearly 50 people have been killed in sporadic fighting in the headquarters of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR)," Md. Quamrul Islam, Bangladesh state minister for law and parliamentary affairs, told reporters.
Quamrul said all weapons would likely be surrendered in the coming hours.

BDR mutineers had agreed to surrender arms, Given amnesty
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina pardons BDR rebels
Dhaka, 25 February : A nine hour high drama ended late Wednesday afternoon after Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina declared general pardon for revolting BDR men and pledged to meet their demands in phases, a state minister said.
The BDR mutineers had agreed to surrender their arms after a meeting with the prime minister at her official residence, state minister for local government Jahangir Kabir Nanak told reporters.
At least 14 BDR personnel in uniform, accompanied by government negotiators, entering the state guesthouse Jamuna at around 3:40pm (BDST), as gunshots continued inside the BDR headquarters. At least one civilian was confirmed dead and 7 were wounded as heavy gunfire erupted in and around Bangladesh Rifles Headquarters in the morning. A number of top BDR officers were killed inside the compound, sources said.
The BDR personnel sent out a letter to the media, claiming their personnel have been long-oppressed by army officers. The Bangladesh prime minister also met with the chiefs of army, navy and air force shortly after 2pm over the mutiny.

Meningitis claims 17 lives in Tripura in one month
Agartala, 25 February : A total 17 people have died of meningitis in Tripura's Dhalai district since 22 January, government said on Wednesday.
Replying to a question in the Assembly, Health and Family Welfare Minister Tapan Chakraborty said the 17 deaths were reported from different villages in Longterai valley subdivision from 22 January to 24 February this year and the government has taken all precautionary measures to check it.
He said the state government wanted to undertake mass immunisation programme in the subdivision but the National Institute of Communicable Diseases has turned the proposal. Tripura opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath, however, claimed that at least 57 tribal villagers have died of meningitis in Manu and Chawmanu blocks and criticised the health minister for not being able to control the disease.

Maoists shoot RPF jawans on train in Purulia
Purulia, 25 February : A Maoist team ambushed and shot four RPF jawans on an express train at Purulia's Barabhum station on Wednesday afternoon. Two of the jawans died on the way to hospital in Bokaro. The guerrillas looted their weapons and cleared out of the station within minutes, leaving Maoist posters scattered on the ground.
Bystanders said that the attack was carried out by a team of 10-15 Maoists. They had broken up into smaller groups and had taken up position at least half an hour before the Tatanagar-Dhanbad Subarnarekha Express arrived at the station around 2.30 pm.

Dhaka University exams postponed
Dhaka, 25 February : The authorities of Dhaka University have postponed all examinations scheduled for Thursday due to an unavoidable circumstance, a DU press release said.
Fresh schedule for the postponed examinations will be announced later.

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