Bangladesh Mutiny- A challenge for India

Rakhi Chakrabarty Delhi/Hardnews

After the massacre by the Bangladesh Rifles troops in Dhaka, it is probe time. Hardnews was the first to report that intelligence sources in India suspected that Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) is behind the mutiny and that there is a bigger conspiracy behind this mutiny.

Even in the probe started by the Bangladesh government, the sinister design of the ISI is gradually becoming apparent. Indeed, questions are being asked: was it really an attempt to stage an armed coup against the new government, or to repeat the calculated scenario of the murder of Mujibur Rehman and his family?

According to intelligence sources, this is, perhaps, the price Bangladesh is paying for electing pro-Indian Sheikh Hasina's party with a huge majority. The BDR mutiny was not just the outcome of grievances within the border guarding force of Bangladesh. It was engineered by the ISI as it is in BDR that Pakistani army and ISI has the greatest influence. The name of a shipping magnate is coming up in the probe, who is close to former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and, more importantly, the Pakistani military intelligence.

The ISI is deeply entrenched in Bangladesh and has carved out strong pockets of influence in the country's army and paramilitary forces like the BDR. With Hasina returning to the helm of affairs, the hardline, radical and fundamentalist elements in Bangladesh's political-security establishment find themselves ill at ease. Plus, her well-known pro-India stand is reason enough for pro-Pakistan elements to send signals: that their influence continues and they can organise large-scale destruction, killings and political instability. ISI also wanted, Hardnews learns from intelligences sources, to send a signal to the Indian security set up that they had the capability to upset Delhi's best laid plans in South Asia to enlarge its area of influence.

The gunning down of BDR chief Major General Shakil Ahmed adds credence to the involvement of the ISI. Ahmed was known to be a liberal just like the Bangladesh Army chief Moin Ahmed.

Last year, Major General Shakil Ahmed was in Delhi for the DG level BSF-BDR conference. Bangladesh was then run by the interim government. While speaking to this correspondent then, Ahmed had said, "We are trying to weed out corruption and promote an honest set-up."

Those in the know averred that his liberal views made him a target for the ISI.