62,000 fake freedom fighters apply for enlistment

total of 192,000 applications for enlistment as freedom fighters

Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad has received 62,000 applications containing names of fake freedom fighters, according to a paper presented to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Liberation War Affairs Ministry.

The ministry has received a total of 192,000 applications for enlistment as freedom fighters. This means more than 31 percent of the total applications are allegedly fake.

The Muktijoddha Sangsad (Bangladesh Freedom Fighters’ Council) has sought 146 days from the government to review the applications and determine the authenticity of the allegation.

Officials of the ministry, however, on Thursday told the parliamentary watchdog that Muktijoddha Sangsad had been asked to start looking into the allegation with a view to preparing a genuine list of freedom fighters.

Maj Gen (rtd) Helal Morshed Khan, chairman of the Muktijoddha Sangsad, in his letter, obtained by daily sun, said from January 2009 up to April 12 this year it received 62,000 allegations on the applications seeking the status of freedom fighters.

He says the Sangsad requires 46 days to examine the allegations at the upzilla level. Again, 46 more days will be necessary at the district level to assess the list prepared by the upzillas.

Then the central command of the Muktijoddha Sangsad will need 54 more days to give its opinions on the fake freedom fighters, he added.

Khan said his organisation required an allocation of Tk 16 million to assess the allegations.

Between January 2009 and April 12 this year, the letter say, the Sangsad received 192,000 applications for enlistment as freedom fighters. Of the total, undisputed 130,000 applications have been sent to the upzilla level of the council for verification.

The letter says 7,500 freedom fighters across the country will be deployed on a full time basis for four and a half months to prepare an authentic list of freedom fighters.

Even after 40 years of the country’s independence in 1971, no government could prepare a genuine list of freedom fighters. Different governments refer to different number of freedom fighters.

State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Tajul Islam earlier told parliament that the total number of freedom fighters in the country was 125,000.

But, he said, the government has taken up steps to prepare an authentic list of freedom fighters, who really fought against the Pakistan occupation army in 1971.

Freedom fighters and their children enjoy many government facilities, including monthly honorarium and quota in government services.

News Source: 
The Daily Sun