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'Razakar to freedom fighter for Tk10 lakh'

  • Published at 09:25 pm January 26th, 2018
  • Last updated at 11:17 pm January 26th, 2018
'Razakar to freedom fighter for Tk10 lakh'
A number of razakars from the 1971 Liberation War have attained recognition as freedom fighters by paying up to Tk10 lakh in bribes, according to a newly-formed platform of war heroes. Speaking during a press briefing at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Friday, Abir Ahad, convener of Ekattorer Muktijoddha (Freedom Fighters of '71), said Bangali collaborators with the Pakistan Army had paid “thousands of crore of taka” to rewrite their personal histories. He said In its 2017 guideline, government platform Jatio Muktijoddha Council (National Freedom Fighters Council – Jamuka) introduced a formula allowing the recognition of any person as a freedom fighter based on the attestation of any war hero named in the Mukti Barta (Red Book) and the Indian government’s list. “Opportunists used the process to verify the identities of fake freedom fighters to make money,” alleged Abir, who is a freedom fighter himself. “They took several crores of taka in bribes from razakars and gave them the freedom fighters certificate.” Abir further said the number of names on current list of verified freedom fighters exceeded 250,000, whereas the real number of freedom fighters – who actively participated in the war to liberate Bangladesh – could not be more than 150,000. He also accused the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs, Jamuka, Muktijoddha Sangsad commanders and Awami League lawmakers and their associates of receiving a share of the bribes. “Despite our freedom fighters putting heroic efforts into the war, there is no recognition of their role in the constitution, while fake freedom fighters are damaging our image,” he alleged. The veteran war hero demanded that the government give constitutional recognition to the terms “Liberation War” and “freedom fighters”. Ekattorer Muktijoddha was formed to launch a countrywide campaign to remove fake freedom fighters from the list and help the real war heroes get constitutional recognition, leaders of the platform said at the press conference. They also announced its central convening committee comprising 71 members.

'I will quit if anyone can name 10 fake freedom fighters'

[caption id="attachment_242232" align="alignright" width="300"] Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque Collected from Facebook[/caption] When informed of the allegation raised by Ekattorer Muktijoddha, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq vehemently refuted it on Friday. “I have been serving in the ministry for four years now,” he told Bangla Tribune. “I will quit and apologize to the nation if anyone can name 10 fake freedom fighters or show that the process is corrupted.” Questioning the role of his predecessors over the matter, the minister said: “I do not know what happened during the tenure of the previous Liberation War ministers, but no such incident (of enlistment of fake freedom fighters through bribery) happened after I assumed office.” Soon after receiving complaints, the names in question were dropped from the freedom fighters’ list after scrutiny, he added. “No one can say that I or anyone from the ministry is involved in such an act,” he further said. This article was first published on banglatribune.com
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