February 25, 2009Foreign Affairs

Sepoy Mutiny, Dhaka, 2009

Dhaka needs to regain control over its security apparatus

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

They are firing rifles, machineguns, artillery and all sorts of weapons,” one police officer near the scene said. The Bangladeshi army called on the attacking troops to surrender arms and go back to the barracks.”

So who just attacked the Bangladeshi army? It’s own paramilitary wing, as it turns out. The Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) is tasked with guarding the country’s border with India and it sometimes gets into shooting matches with the BSF, its Indian counterpart. [See Fence, Phensidyl and border tensions] The current shooting match appears to be a mutiny by the BDR ranks against their (army supplied) officers.

It does raise serious questions about the Bangladesh government’s capacity to control the BDR troops. If Dhaka can’t prevent them from shooting at their senior officers inside their headquarters in the capital, it is quite unlikely to be able to prevent them from shooting at BSF personnel on the remote and complex border.



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