The government removed the Swadhinata Puroshkar or Independence Award of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman from the National Museum on Wednesday, said a museum keeper.
Dr Swapan Kumar Biswas, a museum keeper at the Department of History and Classical Art, told the Dhaka Tribune: “On Tuesday, we received a letter from the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs asking the museum authorities to handover Zia's Swadhinata Puroshkar to the ministry.
“Later on Wednesday afternoon, we removed Zia's crest and other accessories from the museum and handed those over to the ministry.”
Recently, the Cabinet Committee on National Awards recommended the cancellation of Zia's award in line with a High Court order.
In its recommendation, the cabinet committee said: “Those who assumed power violating the constitution should be tried so that no one dares to commit in future. But on the contrary, he [Zia] was given the award posthumously.
“From November 1975 to March 1979, the country was ruled without any active parliament. This clearly indicates autocracy. During the time, former president Ziaur Rahman led the autocrat government.”
Zia was awarded with the award – a medal and a citation – in 2003, during the BNP-Jamaat alliance rule. Though the award was supposed to be handed over to his family, then the government decided to keep it in the National Museum.