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Nov 11

Pilkhana Carnage: Bangladesh PM Hasina and State Minister Kamrul propagate lies using yellow CNN iReport

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and State Minister of Law Kamrul Islam tried to play on with the emotions of common people when they recently came out with outright ridiculous claims regarding the Pilkhana massacre. This was exposed when they were heard making baseless claims regarding the tragic Pilkhana Carnage (For detailed information regarding the Pilkhana massacre, see http://eng.bdrmutiny.com). Not only did it sound ridiculous, the claims of the duo that a CNN report itself claimed that the BNP was behind the Pilkhana massacre were swiftly proved to be outright baseless.


After some simple digging into the report at hand, it was found that the CNN never reported anything even remotely resembling the claims of Hasina & Kamrul. Anybody with the slightest idea about the reporting standards of this powerful TV station from the USA, is sure to know that the CNN surely maintains better standards than claiming opposition BNP leaders instigators and abettors of the Pilkhana massacre without any kind of evidence. Aside from that, how much importance CNN gave to this incident is also questionable.
On November 03, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at an Awami League rally at Suhrawardy Uddyan on the occasion of the Jail Killing Day, said that CNN had reported in support of Hasina’s unrealistic claim against her all-time rival Khaleda Zia’s involvement in the tragic Pilkhana Carnage.
Following up with her claims, State Minister of Law Kamrul, in an emergency press conference at the secretariat soon after, said that the main responsibilities behind the Pilkhana Killings lay with the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, BNP leader Salahuddin Qader Chowdhury and Brigadier General (Rtd) ALM Fajlur Rahman, the former Director General of BDR. It is mentionable in this context that Brigadier General (Rtd) ALM Fajlur Rahman is considered a national hero for his role in the historic Padua-Roumari border battle (www.savebd.com/voice-of-our-nation/felani-day/maj-gen-retd-fazlur-rahma/). Kamrul further added that about 400 million taka had been spent by sides with vested interests in order to realize the Pilkhana carnage.
In reply to a question on how he was so sure about the above by the journalists, Kamrul said that the USA’s CNN had reported these. He informed that it was just very recently through the CNN that he and his colleagues had come to know about the ‘truth’.
Notice that Kamrul’s comments surfaced after the final verdict in the BDR mutiny trials (www.em.rtnn.net//newsdetail/detail/1/3/55838 ), which was delivered last Tuesday, the 5thof November. This was despite the fact that such information was totally absent in the verdict or any stage of the trials for that matter since even after the submission of the charge sheet in the court, Abdul Kahhar Akand had informed that no political involvement was found in the BDR mutiny incident. Akand claimed that BNP leader Nasir Uddin Ahmed Pintu and Awami League leader Torab Ali had been behind this killing alone by themselves and that they were not commanded or under the influence of any party.
In the search results for “Bangladesh” on the CNN website, news reports related to BDR mutiny are found at page number 29-30. There are 7 reports on this topic published at the time of that incident. These include “Bangladesh: Fewer Officers Missing after Mutiny” published on 03 March 2009, “Bangladesh Army Steps Up Mutineer Hunt” published on 02 March 2009, “Body Search Continues Amid Retaliation Fears” on March 01 2009, “Mass Grave Found After Bangladesh Mutiny” on February 27 2009, “Mutiny Spreads in Bangladesh” & “Bangladesh Says Rebellion by Mutinous Troops Ends” on February 26 2009 and “Dozens Feared Dead in Bangladesh Mutiny” published on February25 2009.
None of these reports make the claims delivered by Hasina or Kamrul.
So where is the report that the duo so confidently spoke about? On searching the internet, the following CNN iReport named “BDR Mutiny in Bangladesh: The Darkest Chapter”, was found (http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-751937). The CNN iReport was found to be biased to a degree that proved that it was based on totally zero evidence. It is mentionable that the service CNN iReport is open for public reporting in a manner that users can interact and discuss about in their own words. At the very beginning of this service site of the CNN, it is mentioned that iReport write-ups aren’t approved by CNN (“Not Vetted by CNN”). The implications of this disclaimer are exactly similar to the “Editor/Newspaper is not responsible for the writer’s opinions” disclaimer in any newspaper’s Public Opinion column. The CNN iReport in question was written an anonymous writer on the 21 of February 2012 obnoxiously claiming that the ISI, Salahuddin Qader Chowdhury and Fazlur Rahman were behind the Pilkhana Carnage. Not only that, the abovementioned obnoxious article suggests closer Bangladesh-India working relations to thwart Pakistani attempts to gain foothold in Bangladesh.    
It exceeds the boundaries of ridiculousness and falls into the category of cheap entertainment that VVIP’s like Sheikh Hasina and Kamrul have used the said report to show as evidence the involvement of BNP- Jamaat in the Pilkhana massacre.
Moving to something more concrete, it is necessary to know that on the other hand, there is more than one report about involvement of several high profile ministers and MPs of Awami League in the advent of the Pilkhana Carnage where mutineers reportedly met with them to express their intention to mutiny before 25 February. ( http://www.amardeshonline.com/pages/details/2013/11/06/223486#.UnmtMvuDqNk) Sadly however, these ministers and MPs have not been on any trial. Such is the ‘impartially cloaked partial nature” of the judiciary in Bangladesh.  

(Translation credit: Sidratul Muntaha)