Pilkhana Massacre: When the death reference hearing will conclude?

by Abu Jafar

February 25th will be the 8th anniversary of the tragic Pilkhana Massacre. Fifty-seven officers of the Bangladesh Armed Forces were brutally murdered while their family members tortured (both physically and sexually) by the renegade members of Bangladesh Rifles (now Border Guard Bangladesh). The entire nation were terribly shocked, and of course annoyed, seeing this massacre, and it is the hope of everyone – members of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, families of the victims and every patriotic individual of Bangladesh that the perpetrators of this extreme brutality would face the gallow as soon as possible. There also is demand of bringing the patrons of Pilkhana Massacre into book.

Verdict of the trial a special court was handed in 2013 and several members of BDR were handed death penalty, while others life-term imprisonment and imprisonment of various terms.

Since 2013, members of BDR convicted with imprisonments ranging between 4-10 years in the Pilkhana Massacre case have started getting released. The condemned prisoners are awaiting disposal of the death reference hearing, which has been continuing since 2015. It was earlier reported in the media that this hearing would conclude by November 2016 and verdict pronounced by the High Court Division of Bangladesh Supreme Court by January 2017.

But sources now say, the hearing into the death reference and appeals against life-term imprisonment, and imprisonment of other periods are still continuing at the High Court Division Bench Number 24 of the Bangladesh Supreme Court while the lawyers of the convicts are making numerous attempts in delaying this process long as possible.

Although the nation will remember the martyred officers of Bangladesh Armed Forces on the Pilkhana Massacre Day on February 25th, no one really knows when the hearing into the death reference and other appeals may conclude.

This trial process must conclude and the perpetrators of the crimes must face the gallow – as soon as possible!