The air is thick with the stench of death
The air is thick with the stench of death, vultures circle above and amidst this bleak scene, the army, RAB and police carry on the search for dead bodies and stashed arms. So far, more than 60 bodies have been discovered within BDR headquarters, mostly army officers, said fire services chief Naim Md Shahidullah on Saturday. The bodies of eight officers were found dumped outside the compound, and three bystanders were killed by stray bullets, on the first day of the mutiny bringing the death toll to 77. More than 70 officers were reported ‘still missing’. To flush out any more bodies caught in the sewers, fire service divers are pumping water into the sewers, as well as dredging ponds and combing the wooded areas of the vast BDR complex. As reporters walked around the sprawling Peelkhana grounds, scene of the bloody 33-hour mutiny by rebel BDR jawans, signs of devastation were everywhere: blood stains on paths, burnt shells of vehicles, broken glass and bullet holes everywhere. The smell of death hangs over everything, said bdnews24.com reporters and photographers. At the Darbar Hall, the scene was chaotic: blood clotted to a dark colour on the walls, chairs, tables smashed and the reinforced glass doors riddled with bullet holes. In a darkly ironic detail, the crests to have been awarded at the Darbar programme on Feb 25 (Wednesday), as part of Rifles Week 2009, are the only things to lie almost undisturbed on a table at the far end of the wrecked hall. The armed revolt by rebel jawans against their officers occurred on the second day of the annual BDR celebrations, and the compound was still adorned with festoons, posters and decorations on Saturday. Just outside the hall, patches of dried blood mixed with tyre marks are seen indicating the slain officers were dragged to cars from the scene and taken to the shallow graves around the large sprawling compound where scores of bodies have been unearthed over the past two days.