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Dhaka Tribune

Certificates of around 15,000 freedom fighters undergoing verification, authorities say

Complete list of Freedom Fighters in limbo

Certificates of around 15,000 freedom fighters undergoing verification, authorities say

Update : 26 Mar 2022, 12:02 AM

Bangladesh has failed to publish a complete list of Freedom Fighters even though 50 years have passed since independence.

The country has so far published partial lists of Freedom Fighters in three installments. 

On March 25, 2021, the Liberation War Affairs Ministry published the names of 147,537 freedom fighters in a combined list. On May 9, names of 6,988 freedom fighters were published in the second phase.

On June 7, 2021, the ministry published another combined list that included 12,116 names from 388 upazilas under eight divisions

While publishing the first installment in March 2021, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque told media that they hoped to publish the final list soon.

When Dhaka Tribune tried contacting several officials at the ministry, it was learned that some of them had been transferred and others were in the dark about the development of the final list.

Sufi Abdullahil Maruf, senior public relations officer at the ministry, said that they have published a list with the FFs who were verified at the upazila level and had no allegations against them. The Jatiya Muktijoddha Council (National Freedom Fighters Council) prepared the list.

The official said the remaining list has been delayed as each name needed to be scrutinized individually. 

In 2017, the government decided to scrutinize all governmental and non-governmental lists of freedom fighters. The decision was taken keeping in mind the possibility of undeserving names being included in the lists and also for checking whether the same name was listed more than once.  

Since then, the government has missed several deadlines to publish the names.

Reasons for delay in the process

Officials at the National Freedom Fighters Council told Dhaka Tribune that there is a case pending in court involving a number of lists of freedom fighters since 2014. 

Sources from the council said that the case involved three particular lists – Ka, Kha and Ga. 

The freedom fighters from the list Ka have already been included in a combined list, but proceedings are continuing for names included in Kha and Ga.

Jamuka scrutinized 35,797 names between 2002 and 2009, and found thousands of false freedom fighters.

Around 5,000 people appealed against the Jamuka move. Sources at the council confirmed that the appeal procedure is yet to begin.

The council also confirmed that over 83 upazilas across the country are yet to send upazila verification reports of freedom fighter lists. 

After receiving the reports, there will be a second verification, the sources said, adding that it will be followed by divisional verification.

After these procedures are completed, a final list will be prepared. 

Certificates of some 15,000 freedom fighters are currently undergoing verification. The final list is expected to include around 160,000 names, several Jamuka officials said on condition of anonymity.

However, the director general of the council, Additional Secretary Md Zahurul Islam Rhohel, refused to mention any number. He said that the list would be finalized after the verification process was completed.

There are a total of 201,461 FFs who receive honorariums from the government, while 251,285 people claim to be freedom fighters.

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