MAJ Gen Shakil Ahmed, director general of BDR, died in a hail of bullets within 10 minutes after the shooting began at the Pilkhana darbar hall Wednesday morning, confirmed Lt Col Syed Kamruzzaman, who survived the killing-spree of border troops.
Speaking at a press briefing at the staff college officers’ mess in Mirpur Cantonment late last night, he narrated how he was saved by ‘a few good jawans’.
As a band of paramilitaries wearing red bandanas opened fire inside darbar at around 9:45am, Kamruzzaman and 11 other officers including the DG took shelter in corners of the stage.
After around five minutes, some jawans ordered them to come out and walk in a line led by the DG.
“As the DG climbed down the stairs of darbar hall, one jawan sprayed him with bullets. Soon the other jawans there started firing on us,” said Kamruzzaman.
“I dived on the ground after a bullet hit me in the stomach. Somehow I managed to crawl myself inside a washroom. A few minutes later, some jawans found that I was hiding in a toilet. They fired a volley of shots at me, but miraculously none hit me,” he went on.
“As one jawan pointed his gun at my chest, in desperation I hugged him tightly and asked, “Why will you kill me? What harm did I do to you?
“I don’t know what occurred to them. They said, ‘Ok. We won’t kill you.’ They took me to another place and kept me hidden from others.”
Lt Col Kamruzzaman, general staff officer 1 (communication), said when the jawans were taking him to safety he saw bodies of Major General Shakil Ahmed, Brig Bari, Col Moshiur, Col Zahid, Col Anis, Col Emdad and Lt Col Ershad.
He said over 160 officers were in the darbar hall when the madness set in. He however could not say what happened to others.
He said as another group spotted him a few hours before the end of mutiny, he told them that it was their men who hid him there.
“They told me, ‘Ok, we’ll spare you, but you have to run as we order. As I started zigzagging down the lawn, some armed jawans attempted to shoot at me. But the ones who saved me first came to my rescue again. They took me to the quarter guardroom from where I was finally rescued,” Kamruzzaman said.
At the same briefing, Major Monir described how he cheated death hiding in a drain and then inside false ceiling of the darbar hall for almost two days.
“I watched helpless as jawans killed other officers,” he said.
Col Asif, Lt Col Yasmin and her husband AKM Arifur Rahman, a district judge of Dhaka, spoke in the briefing.
They claimed that the BDR men looted valuables from almost all households.