Bangladesh Rifles mutiny militarizes India border

Military authorities in Bangladesh say 72 officers are still missing after a two-day mutiny by border guards in which at least 76 people were killed. The uprising was sparked by longstanding grievances over pay and benefits. Authorities have found scores of bodies buried in shallow mass graves in the Dhaka headquarters of the Bangladesh Rifles border force. The army brought tanks to the streets of Dhaka before the mutineers surrendered. Violence was also reported in Chittagong and elsewhere around the country. India‘s Border Security Force remains on high alert. (Xinhua, Feb. 28; AP, Feb. 27; The Guardian, Feb. 26)

The Times of India cited unnamed sources saying the mutineers had been paid to stage the revolt by of Salauddin Qadeer Chowdhury, a Chittagong shipping magnate and prominent supporter of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party supposedly linked to Pakistani intelligence and arms smuggling to insurgent groups in the Indian state of Assam. (Times of India, March 1)

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  1. India-Bangladesh border militarized
    The government of India’s Assam state announced Dec. 8 that just a few kilometers of the 262-km land border the state shares with Bangladesh remained to be fenced. A 10-km stretch ringed by water would continue to remain unfenced. Assam Accord Implementation and Revenue Minister Bhumidhar Barman told the state assembly that barring the 10-km stretch, the barbed wire fencing for the remaining portion would be completed by March 2010. (IANS, Dec. 8)