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Army Coup against Bangladeshi PM Hasina

20 January, 2012

By Zaheerul Hassan


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According to news reports The Bangladesh Army has foiled a coup plot by certain national serving and retired army officers to overthrow Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and have arrested two former officers. The "heinous conspiracy" was unearthed last month and two retired officers - Lt Col Ehsan Yousuf and Major Zakir - have been arrested while a serving officer Major Syed Mohammad Ziaul Huq, a co-planner is absconding.

"A band of patriotic officers had been trying to oust the politically established government. Their attempt has been foiled," army spokesman Brigadier General Mohammad Masud Razzak told a crowded press conference here 19 January. He said that 14 to 16 officers were under vigil as investigations were underway of the suspected involvement while the two arrested former officers "bluntly admitted their role in the plot". He declined to unveil when the arrests were made. He said that the plot has been fomented by Bangladeshis expatriates in touch with "religiously motivated army officers".

"The attempt has been thwarted with the whole hearted efforts of the Army soldiers," Razzak said in a written statement. Talking about the absconding officer, Razzak said Maj Huq in an effort to implement his anti-state conspiracies sent e-mails to different serving officers to execute his operation plans on January 9 and 10. Bangladesh has a long history of coups and counter coups.

The country was under direct or pseudo military rules for over a decade, since August 15, 1975, when the country's founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated along with most of his family members.   

Earlier in 2009,the bodies of dozens of army officers were exhumed from shallow graves in the headquarters of Bangladesh's border guard unit yesterday, bringing the death toll from the two-day rebellion to more than 70.

Soldiers from the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), a paramilitary unit that patrols the country's borders, dressed as civilians tried to flee but hundreds were detained after the army set up roadblocks around the country. Although the rebels were offered a general amnesty as they surrendered but the ministers said there would be no pardon for "people directly involved in the killings". In fact the BDR mutiny was not just the outcome of grievances within the border guarding force of Bangladesh. It was engineered by the Indian intelligence agency “RAW” which tried to motivate the soldiers against high ranks. The purpose of the mutiny was also to create rift within the forces.

However, the most probable cause of the coup is that majority of many officers and general masses are against the pro-Indian policies of sitting government. In this regards main opposition of Bangladesh Nationalist Party is more critical and cautious of increasing India involvement in internal affairs of the country. The general public and forces think that current government believes in secularism and is also trying to take the young generation away from Islamic Ideology. 

Moreover the public and government perception is quite different   over the issues like Farakka Barrage, water sharing and border conflicts near Tripura. The young officers of Bangladeshi Army do not like to play in the neighbouring country's hands, they off and on voiced against pro-Indian rulers' policies. In short we can say that current coup could be a caution for the sitting government.

The revolt raised questions about the stability of the majority Muslim country of 140 million people which has history of coups, with two presidents assassinated. Anyhow, Bangladeshi government has to take steps to raise Bangladesh as an independent Islamic country rather than another Indian state.


The writer can be approached through zameer36@gmail.com

Reader Comments:

Support for Coup against an Elected Government?

Everyone knows Pakistan's commitment towards democracy. I think we should go by the great author's diagnosis of the problem which Bangladesh faces and call in experts from Pakistan in order to help Bangladesh evolve its democracy to Pakistan's standard so that it too can be a flag bearer of modernity, enlightment and progress like Pakistan. After all, the author is on the ground and talks to all Bangladeshi officers to know their views. We should believe the author and ignore the propaganda from all over the world that talks about the atrocities committed by Pakistani troops in Bangladesh. But it's sad that Bangladesh decided to stay an independent country instead of being a part of Pakistan, thus debunking the two nation theory that led to creation of Pakistan during the end of British rule in Indian Sub-continent.

ReligionOfPeace, Antarctica - 21 January, 2012

Bangla coup

Thanks for accurate comment.
By deleting the world Allah from the constitution she has not only angered the Islamic parties and organisations throughout the country but infuriated majorty Muslim people of this country of 164m .
India and USA have lined up and declared their intention to save the most corrupt, oppressive, failed overnment of Mrs Hasina Wajid Mia. Perhaps, UK, Canada, Australia and few VIKING countries would join the band wagon to save their poodle. But whatever happens she would find it hard to hang the so called WAR CRIMINALS only Bengali speaking vocal political opponents of both Hasina & India. They took part in the creation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, defended Pakistan and in 1971 it was no crime for any Pakistani to defend his/her country from foreign attack or internal subversion, said Professor Ghulam Azam 90 years old ex leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami, facing WAR CRIME TRIAL in an Indian financed politically motivated Kangaroo court. Before 16.12.1971 Bangladesh was not in existence. Hence no internatinal human rights organisation, court or , Tribunal would accept it as WAR CRIME.
Brig.Razzaq of Bangla Army's Hasina section's written press statement was nothing else other than the carboncopy of her such ararm / crying of wolf speech she has been delivering since she changed the constitution and her sycophant ministers reciting her version parrot-fashion. Truth would prevail. Mujib-India proposed INDO-BANGLA CONFEDERATION WOULD BE PREVENTED. Mujib wanted it and paid for his crime. One expects, good sense would prevail and Hasina would not venture to follow the trail. Reading of Bangladeshi media would reveal the truth about the alleged coup/conspiracy/plot - you name it. Bengalis are politically matured enough and they have already expressed their opinion. Therefore the Indian daily ANANDA BAZAR expressed its alarm.

AL-HILAL, - 21 January, 2012

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