Less than three months after the publication of the new list of freedom fighters amid coronavirus outbreak, Jatiyo Muktijoddha Council (Jamuka) has recommended the cancellation of the gazettes and certificates of 31 freedom fighters, including Mirza Ismat of Bancharampur upazila in Brahmanbaria.
The council also recommended not to provide 17 freedom fighters (FFs) the allowance allotted for war-maimed FFs, because they were not wounded during the war. However, they still managed to get that added allowance the last four months.
The director general of Jamuka investigated into the cases after receiving various allegations of providing false information and forgery. After that, in the 68th meeting of Jamuka, it was recommended to cancel the names of 31 people from the Muktijoddha Gazette.
Liberation war affairs minister AQM Mozammel Haque told Prothom Alo, "If we make a mistake, we will correct it. Anyone can make objections against any freedom fighter. We will look into the matter and take action. This is an ongoing process. That is why there is an opportunity to appeal.”
According to the ministry of liberation war, Mirza Ismat of Bancharampur upazila of Brahmanbaria was identified as a non-freedom fighter and his name was earlier on the cancellation list by the local freedom fighters during the selection process. However, on 3 June, the ministry of liberation war released a list of 1,256 freedom fighters, including Mirza Ismat.
According to Jamuka sources, Safiqur Rahman Hawladar of Chandpur among 31 others secretly took the certificate without following the Jamuka law. Investigation has revealed that he is not a real freedom fighter. Tara Mia of Narayanganj did not receive war training in the liberation war, nor did he take part in the liberation war. Khorshed Ali of Naogaon is not a freedom fighter by definition. They could not produce any witnesses against the allegations against Nazrul Islam and Khalilur Rahman of the same district. Ful Mia of Magura did neither fight in the war, nor was he war-wounded.
According to Jatiyo Muktijoddha Council, various complaints are coming to the ministry of welfare trust and liberation war about the war-wounded freedom fighters every day. Ever since the government announced to provide separate war wounded allowance, they have been illegally collecting war wounded allowance by making fake documents. Many have no signs of injury. Many have been injured in other accidents but have claimed to be war-wounded freedom fighters.
At the 68th meeting of Jamuka, a committee was formed to check whether the freedom fighters were receiving war casualty allowance on the basis of correct information. The names of the 17 people came out in the investigation of that committee.
Mozammel Haque, Habibur Rahman, Anisur Rahman, Asgar, Reich Uddin, Ruhul Amin, Lokman Hakim, Mosaddek Hossain, the late Abed Ali, Rustam Ali, Abdul Latif, Abdur Razzak, Mansur Ali, Liaquat Ali, late Mofiz Uddin, Iftekhar Alam and Abu Hasan are among the 17 people who submitted false documents for collecting war-wounded freedom fighters’ certificates.
According to the local freedom fighter commanders of different districts and the members of the verification and selection committee, there are objections about the freedom fighters’ lists published in many districts in the country besides Brahmanbaria. There are allegations of providing false documents by half of the 11 new freedom fighters of Faridpur's Saltha upazila. The local freedom fighters were surprised to see the new list of Narsingdi. Some more such allegations have been found. Earlier, on 15 December last year, the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs had released a list of 10,789 people under the title 'Publication of the list of Razakars, Al-Badrs, Al-Shams and anti-independence in 1971’. The list was suspended due to protests and criticism across the country.
Jamuka director general Zahurul Islam told Prothom Alo, "The certificates and gazettes of those who are being accused from the new list are being canceled. Besides, the officer who committed irregularities in Jamuka has been dismissed and brought under punishment. We are looking into any allegations."
* The report, originally published in the print edition of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat