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Dhaka Tribune

8,000 axed from freedom fighters’ list

  • Highlighted existence of verification committees at upazila level
  • Significance of Mujibnagar govt
Update : 17 Apr 2024, 10:30 PM

The government has removed around 8,000 individuals from the list of freedom fighters due to discrepancies in their claims, said Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque.

The minister revealed this while responding to queries from journalists after paying respects at the Mujibnagar Memorial, ahead of the rally commemorating Mujibnagar Day in Meherpur on Wednesday.

Addressing the issue of ensuring accuracy in the compilation of the list of liberation war veterans, the minister highlighted the existence of verification committees at the upazila level across the country.

These committees oversee the authentication process, with verified cases forwarded to the National Freedom Fighter Council or Jatiya Muktijoddha Council, well known as Jamuka, for its final approval.

The resulting Freedom Fighters Gazette is then published. If any individual is found to have falsely obtained the status of a freedom fighter, his or her designation is revoked upon complaint or detection by the ministry, backed by evidence.

The minister emphasized the strict protocols in place to prevent fraudulent claims, adding: "There is no room for false claims in becoming a freedom fighter. While deception may seem convenient in today's age, we are vigilant about such attempts. Any specific allegations will be thoroughly investigated and addressed accordingly."

Looking back

The government on March 5, 2021 published the first list of 147,537 freedom fighters, including Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the four national leaders and 191 martyred intellectuals.

On May 9 that year, the names of 6,988 freedom fighters were published in the second phase.

Two months later, the ministry published another combined list that included 12,116 names from 388 upazilas under eight divisions.

On September 4, 2021, Minister Mozammel Haque told parliament that the certificates of 10,000 fake freedom fighters accepted from 2002 to 2010, had been cancelled.

Earlier that year, a top BNP leader said that only 80,000 freedom fighters had fought the Liberation War in 1971. 

"But the Awami League is making a list of 2.5 lakh freedom fighters," he claimed.

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 to check whether the same name was listed more than once.  

Since then, the government has missed several deadlines on publishing the names.

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