Tuesday, September 19, 2017 11:14:20 PM
Amid reports of obtaining freedom fighters' certificates through forgery by many, including officials, the government has decided to prepare a fresh digitised list of genuine war heroes, aiming to prevent the illegal practice.
"After conducting a massive scrutiny, a fresh digitised list of freedom fighters will be prepared within the next three months," Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque told UNB.
Asked how they will prepare the list of genuine freedom fighters, the minister said they will scrutinise the previous lists of freedom fighters, including the one prepared by neighbouring country India and the Muktibarta (red book prepared by the AL government during its 1996-2001 tenure) and form selection committees at upazila level to prepare an authentic list of freedom fighters.
The selection committee, led by freedom fighter local MP, will be formed in each upazila across the country in this regard, he said adding that if the local MP is not a freedom fighter, upazila unit Muktijoddha commander will become the selection committee head.
The remaining members of the selection committee will include representatives of the district unit Muktijoddha command council, upazila commander, central command nominated member, a freedom fighter nominated by local MP (if the MP is not freedom fighter) and upazila nirbahi officer as member secretary.
Mozammel Haque said they will decide all these matters at the meeting of Jatiya Muktijoddha council scheduled to be held on September 14. The full-fledged selection committee will be formed in seven days after the meeting.
The committee will start working to prepare the list of genuine freedom fighters within the next 15 days following the formation of the committee, he said.
Replying to query, the minister said, a fresh list of real war heroes will be made public by November this year and digital certificates of the freedom fighters would be handed over to the war heroes and their families before March 26, 2015 (the day coincides with Independence Day).
He said, there will be eight kinds of devices in the digital certificates of war heroes due to which no one will be able to use fake certificates of the freedom fighters.
The minister said they have taken the programme at the directives of the Prime Minister and hoped that they would be able to implement it.
He said, following allegations that some people, including government employees, managed freedom fighter certificates through fraudulence to illegally occupy different official positions and draw benefits illegally from the public exchequer, they investigated the matter and found them to be fake liberation war heroes.
The minister said action will be taken against the fake freedom fighters' certificate holders.
Asked what measures will be taken against public servants enjoying government facilities using the fake FF certificates, he said the Public Administration Ministry has already been asked to take departmental action against the government employees and officials who obtained certificates of freedom fighters through forgery.
Mozammel also said those public servants who took financial benefits using the fake freedom fighter certificates will have to return the government money they received.
Departmental action will also be taken against fake freedom fighters' children and grandchildren who took grade I and grade II government jobs, the minister said. The minister, however, said no step will be taken against those who took grade III and grade IV government jobs using fake freedom fighter certificates issued to their fathers and grandfathers.
Besides, the children and grandchildren of fake freedom fighters who got admitted to educational institutions taking advantage of the freedom fighters' certificate will face punishment.
Sources at the ministry said allegation of obtaining war heroes certificate through fraudulence have so far been brought against 3,000 people.
They said freedom fighters certificates of 182 public servants, including senior officials, have so far been cancelled as those were proved to be fake and the authorities were asked to take legal action against them.
The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), in its recent investigation, found that five secretaries and one joint secretary managed freedom fighters certificates resorting to fraudulence.
Though a number of ministry officials failed to say the exact figure of the freedom fighters, some of them put it at two lakh.
Over the past 43 years since the country's liberation, successive governments have prepared five lists of freedom fighters, but every list was incomplete.
However, the number of freedom fighters was 51,522 according to the list prepared by India. But the number rose to over 1.47 lakh in the count done by the Awami League government during its 1996-2001 tenure.
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