The sources present at the meeting said that a member of the committee reasoned that a male official should given guard of honour as the women do not usually attend Janaza prayers. Assistant commissioner (land), upazila education officer, upazila agriculture officer or any other male officers can give the guard of honour instead of a female officer.

The committee later made the recommendation.

According to the press release, the meeting also suggested collecting definition of freedom fighters from various countries, and following international rules in terms of recruiting descendants of known Rajakars (collaborators of Pakistan army during liberation war) in government jobs.

The meeting also decided to send a note on the issue of hoisting national flag by people known as anti-liberation elements in some places during various national days.

Presided over by the committee’s president Shajahan Khan, liberation war affairs minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Rajiuddin Ahmed, Rafiqul Islam, Kazi Firoz Rashid, Waresat Hussain and Moslem Uddin Ahmed, among others, attended the meeting.

Shajahan Khan told Prothom Alo, “Rafiqul Islam Bir Uttam said guard of honour is not given at night and he suggested guard of hounour be given in the day time. Generally UNOs lead the guard of honour and womens’ presence at Janaza prayer is prohibited (from religious point of view). The recommendation has been made from that perspective.”

He said the meeting did not give any alternative proposal and the ministry has been asked to take decision regarding it.

Asked about the recommendation, former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder told Prothom Alo that he does not find any problem if women UNOs give guard of honour saying that Janaza and guard of honour are different things.

He said there are women UNOs in over 100 upazilas and they all have to be replaced by their men if the decision is to be implemented.

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