Memorial to slain military officers outside of my office at IUB
In the two days since I’ve returned to Bangladesh I’ve met with four colleagues from the Independent University of Bangladesh (IUB) who have lost family and friends in the BDR attack inside of a military compound in Dhaka last week. Still completely shaken one of them was on the scene a few days ago with family members searching for the bodies of the missing. Yesterday students made this memorial titled “Heroes Never Die.” How and why can such a thing happen? Many theories are being discussed and some are calling it a planned massacre rather then a mutiny. It clearly wasn’t a random attack.
Military on alert in Dhaka, Feb 26, 2009. Photo © Salman Saeed
For two days last week parts of Dhaka looked like they were under siege. Over 80 army officers were murdered by lower rank BRD border patrol soldiers. Jessica Lim, a photographer friend who was on the scene last week had this to say; “There is something more to be said about the crowd. First of all – since when did people walk towards the sound of gunfire rather than away from it? Sure, they ran when it got too loud, too close. But they ran with smiles and laughter. They ran off till it was quiet, and then regrouped and came forward again. I don’t understand this. Did they not know that people had already been killed by the misfires? Was this a game to them? The worst thing was that I couldn’t tell where the guns were from, or what they were aiming at. I didn’t know where to hide my very not-bulletproof body.”