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16 December, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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1,271 names included in new list of FFs

RAFIQUL ISLAM AZAD, Dhaka

At least 1,271 persons are going to be included in the list of freedom fighters (FFs) afresh with government approval after thorough scrutiny, according to sources in the Liberation War affairs ministry and the Jatiya Muktijoddha Council (Jamuka).

The Jamuka at a meeting on December 10 approved the FF status for 1,271 persons against their online applications after completion of all necessary procedures, said the sources.    

This is the first time that the government approved online application of people applied earlier for inclusion in the list of FFs. The process started five years back. Even more applicants may get approval from those who submitted appeal to the Jamuka before March 26 this year, the sources added. A

senior Jamuka official told The Independent that approval was given to 1,271 FFs from five divisions. These are persons whose names were in the (Ka) category and who were recommended by their respective upazila scrutiny committees in early 2017.

“Now, the Jamuka is preparing the resolution of the new FFs. Their names will be published in the gazette later this month or early next month,” he said.

The official, preferring anonymity, also said the nine-member Jamuka, led by the minister for Liberation War affairs, would again review the cases of prospective freedom fighters from three more divisions as well as after dismissal of appeals from those who were in the (Kha) and (Ga) categories.

He said during the scrutiny at the upazila level, applicants about whom the committee members gave different opinions were kept in the (Kha) category, while the rejected cases were kept in the (Ga) category.

The applicants recommended by all the committee members were kept in the (Ka) category, he added.

According to him, around 35,000 appeals were submitted by those were kept in the (Kha) and (Ga) categories to review their cases.

When contacted, Minister for Liberation War affairs AKM Mozammel Haque said the Jamuka gave approval to the new FFs in the first phase after scrutinising and subsequently interviewing the online applicants.

He also said they hoped to complete the scrutiny of freedom fighters within March 26 next year, before the publication of the final list of freedom fighters.

Earlier, the scrutiny committees had started the process of scrutiny of genuine freedom fighters with new applications from about 135,000 persons. The committees were supposed to scrutinise the documents of gazetted freedom fighters, including those were neither in the Indian list nor in the Mukti Barta (Red Book) prepared by the Muktijoddha Sangsad.

Successive governments have so far prepared five lists of the freedom fighters after the War of Liberation in 1971. Each time, the number of freedom fighters increased as the government included the names chosen by them and deleted those they did not like.

Besides, there are a good number of genuine freedom fighters who are not interested or did not get any opportunity to be included in the list, according to sources. According to the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs, the number of gazetted freedom fighters is 231,385. Among them, 180,513 are  civilians and 50,872 are from different forces.

Currently, 184,000 freedom fighters are drawing the government allowance for freedom fighters, said an official of the ministry.

The first list of freedom fighters was prepared during the Ershad regime in 1986 and had 102,458 names. The Ershad government updated the list in 1988 and the number dropped to 69,833.

The BNP-led government upgraded the list for the third time in 1994 and the number increased to 86,000. The list was reviewed twice during the regime of the AL government from 1996 to 2001. The Mukti Barta (Green) enlisted the names of 186,790 and the Mukti Barta (Red) 158,452.

The BNP again updated the list in 2006, and the number rose to 1,98,889, according to ministry sources.

Government allowances and facilities for freedom fighters, including monthly allowances, two Eid bonuses, and quota in jobs and admission to educational institutions lure people to try and get a freedom fighter’s certificate, although the names of many of them do not appear either in Indian lists or in Mukti Barta (Red).

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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