Hana Shams Ahmed highlights legitimate issues that disappeared in the massacre’s aftermath
[FORUM magazine, THE DAILY STAR, April 2009]
“The subaltern uprising story has paled away as threats to the nation’s territorial sovereignty have become clearer”. — Rahnuma Ahmed, New Internationalist (UK), March 17
Six weeks into the bloody carnage at Pilkhana, black banners are still hanging outside the BDR grounds. This is the site where the bodies of 74 people, including 57 military officers, were recovered from mass graves– a political and emotional shock from which the nation is yet to recover.
Two of the most noted army officer victims were director general of BDR Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed and Col Gulzar Uddin Ahmed, the founding director of the intelligence wing of RAB (Rapid Action Battalion) who led the operation to arrest JMB militant leader Shaikh Abdur Rahman.
Public perception first focused on the initial reports on day one about a rebellion centred over pay, rations, corruption, and lack of opportunities. But by day two, public outcry broke out as reports about savage killings started coming out. The “Proletariat Revolution” theory had initially been facilitated by interviews with rebels in orange and red masks, expressing their pent-up resentment over low salaries and alleged corruption in the BDR upper-tier.