||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (November 2013)|
|Chief of Bangladesh Rifles|
Fort Sill, US Army
|Occupation||General of the Bangladesh Army|
|Years of service||1976–2009 (33 Years)|
Major General Shakil Ahmed was a two-star general of the Bangladesh Army and head of Border Guard Bangladesh. He was commissioned in the Regiment of Artillery in 1976. He is a graduate from the Armed Forces Staff College, Malaysia. A former Distinguished Allied Graduate from Field Artillery Officers Advanced Course at Fort Sill, Oklahoma by the US Army, he has been a Directing Staff at Defence Services Command and Staff College in Mirpur, Dhaka. He was also an instructor at Artillery School and commanded a Field Artillery Brigade. Later he became a Sector Commander of Bangladesh Rifles.
He has twice commanded field artillery regiments of which one was active service in counter insurgency role. He was an Assistant Defence Attaché at Bangladesh High Commission in London; a staff officer at Prime Minister’s Office, the Armed Forces Division; and a Chief Operations Staff Officer of the Field Artillery Brigade. Brigadier General Shakil Ahmed graduated from National Defence College of Bangladesh in 2002 and promoted to the rank of Major General.
He was best known as the Chief (Director General) of the national paramilitary force Bangladesh Rifles. General Ahmed started Operation “Daal bhat”, an operation which saved many poor people from starvation. For the first time in 19 years, the salaries of the soldiers were proposed to be increased by the chief. General Shakil Ahmed had heavily secured the border of Bangladesh, and stopped smuggling and trespassing. He also solved many border problems with India. He was shot and killed, along with his wife and all of his military commanders in the 2009 Bangladesh Rifles revolt.
The soldiers of the Bangladesh Rifles had grievances over their salaries, living conditions and greater opportunities for deployment in UN Peacekeeping Missions. A day before the event on February 25, 2009, the disgruntled soldiers met General Ahmed and some of his commanders and urged them to raise their grievances with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at or after the function. Some even asked that Ahmed should do so in his speech. Although the issue was raised by General Ahmed in public through the media, the soldiers still assassinated General Ahmed . Many Conspiracy theories were made following the mutiny which accuses politicians for killing General Ahmed because he questioned their corrupt practices and that Ahmed was stopping them from doing many illegal activities.
Media speculated the abrasion between the elite Bangladesh Army and their paramilitary counterpart. Tempers flared up because the day before the event, the Prime Minister had lauded the army’s role in restoring democracy and announced a raise for the military — something the aggrieved BDR was also expecting. Accounts of what happened after Hasina left vary. There are many rumours suggesting that a soldier who raised the question was disciplined soon after but the flashpoint came the following morning. The rumours although proved to be false since investigation reports revealed that no soldier was punished at all by army officers and neither were any questions raised by the soldiers. On February 25, during the daily morning parade when Ahmed was taking the salute. A soldier with a gun (stolen from the secured official stock) tried shooting the General. The soldier then hesitated and due to nervousness fainted on the spot. General Ahmed asked his officers to get some water so that the soldier would wake up, without knowing what the soldier's were about to attempt. Meanwhile, some of the mutineers shouted out loud "Wake up" and every soldier inside responded to the code which initiated the mutiny and left the Darbar hall ignoring commands from their senior officers to stay put. After a few minutes later the soldiers started shooting at Darbar hall from outside the premises. General Shakil asked for assistance from the Prime Minister, Chief of Army Staff, and also other armed forces of the government. The Government shocked by the event were hesitating to move their military forces inside Pilkhana which were deployed in the front gate, a few hours after the mutiny began. As many leaders among the government had different opinions on how to tackle the situation, the time taken to make a swift decision was delayed. Completely unaware that the soldiers have already began a mass killing mission to murder every single army officer they find inside Pilkhana. When the army officer's inside Darbar hall felt the military forces will not be moving inside pilkhana anytime soon despite repeated calls for help, the Chief's officers arranged a planned for an escape which was aimed at evacuating the Chief and other senior officers. However, the General's response was different from the plan put forward by the subordinate officers, according to a number of surviving witnesses General Shakil Ahmed said I will not abandon my officers here, we must know why the soldiers are going for a mutiny despite everything we have done for them and as army officers stationed here it's our duty to prevent such mutiny and those of you who fear death remember it will come eventually and if we die today, remember we die serving the nation. Finally the mutineers stopped shooting from outside and asked the officers inside to stand in a straight line and exit the Darbar hall claiming that they won't shoot. The General ordered his men to walk behind him . The army officers followed behind the chief. General Shakil walked down the stage as asked by the soldiers and then suddenly four soldiers jumped out and fired four bullets at the officers. The chief who stood front was hit by the bullets . The chief according to some surviving officers died on the spot. As their chief was killed some army officers tried to stop and resist the mutineers from shooting. Officers also tried to convince their battalions to calm down and report in an organized structure which eventually led tor their deaths as well and when the other officers finally realized the mutineers were not here to demand or to negotiate just to kill officer's were ever they find them . The other officers escaped from the Darbar hall. Since the Darbar hall laws allowed no weapon to be carried inside . All the officers were unarmed which eventually led to 57 army officer deaths. In the aftermath of the killing when the military forces finally moved inside Pilkhana and saw many army officers executed by the soldiers this led to an extreme shock to the country . Since General Shakil and the army officers already worked extremely hard and met many important demands by the soldiers and for the first time in 19 years the salary were increased as well as the border being heavily secured by Shakil. Such killing had no valid reason at all which eventually gave birth to conspiracy theories which suggest some powerful politicians planned the murder of the army officers. .
General shakil ahmed and his officers are shaheed's for doing their duty even to their deaths which will forever be remembered in the history of Bangladesh .Both Ahmed and his wife, along with other murdered officers of the force were buried with full military honors at a state funeral on 2 March 2009, 4 days after the bodies were found.Luckily General Shakil Ahmed's only son Rakin Ahmed and daughter Aqeela Raidah Ahmed had survived the Carnage.
Major General Jahangir Alam Chowdhury
|Chief of Bangladesh Rifles
Major General Anwar Hossain