Huge protests as Razakars’ list contains freedom fighters

Dhaka, Dec 17 – The just published ‘Rajakars list’ sparked huge protests and created resentments in the country as names of a number of freedom fighters were found in it. Many freedom fighters expressed their displeasures over the development and demanded bringing correction to the Rajakars list immediately.
In the wake of inclusion of freedom fighters name in the Rajakars list, Minister for Liberation War Affairs AKM Mozammel Haque said if the number of mistakes in the list get increased, his ministry will withdraw the list of Razakars.
“If the number of mistakes is too many, we will publish a revised list after proper investigation,” he added.
The Minister said even though he or his ministry did not prepare the list, he still accepts the responsibility and apologises for the mistakes.
“We have not edited the list which was provided by the home ministry. We published it as it was,” he said adding, the ministry will take measures to bring corrections after proper investigation.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs in a press release yesterday, the ministry published the Rajakars list as they received from the Homer Ministry.
“We have received allegations that a good number of names came in the Rajakars list who are neither Rajakars nor Al Badar nor Al Shams nor anti-liberation rather they are freedom fighters. We are examining as to how their names were included in the list,” said the release.
If the list carries such names mistakenly, their names will be removed from the lists through scrutiny based on application, the release added.
Meanwhile, Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal yesterday however observed that the Liberation War Affairs Ministry should have properly scrutinised the list of Razaakrs before publishing it.
The Ministry of Liberation War Affairs didn’t scrutinise the list before publishing it… it should have been scrutinized properly, he said while addressing a programme organised by Bangladesh Krishak League at Bangabandhu Avenue in the city.
He further said the home ministry provided a list of Razakars upon request from the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs.
On Sunday, the government published the list of 10,789 Razakars, who collaborated with the Pakistan army in carrying out mass killings and atrocities against the Bangalees during the war in 1971. In some cases, the razakar list read ‘found not guilty in a court case.’
The names of at least seven freedom fighters are on the list that was published on Sunday. One of them was tortured to death by the Pakistan army and four of them have passed away.
Even more astonishing is the fact that one of the seven freedom fighters is Ghulam Arieff Tipoo, the chief prosecutor of the International Crimes Tribunal, whose job is to prosecute war criminals of 1971.
Talking to reporters, he gave a reminder to bring an amendment to the Rajakars list as soon as possible. He thinks there might be collaborators of Jamaat in the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs otherwise such a list with huge mistakes would not have been published.
“I am shocked and stunned with the allegation of Rajakar when I worked for the country and its people in my whole life. I have taken the case seriously and cannot want giving shelter to it,” he said.
He warned that if the matter is not resolved he would take legal measures against it.
The list of Razakars has also sparked a huge protest in Barguna as the name of the then president of Barguna Mukti Sangram Parishad is among others in the list.
Freedom fighters and people from different sectors took to the street in Pathorghata Upazila yesterday after they found the name of late Majibul Haq alias Naya Bhai, who was the president of the district unit Mukti Sangram Parishad during the Liberation War in 1971, in the Razakars’ list.
Mihir Lal Dutta, a renowned Language Movement activist, died on January 20, 2007.He sustained bullet wounds in his abdomen during the Liberation War. His father and a brother were also martyred during the war. But surprisingly, he was named as a Razakar in the recently published list.
His son Shuvabrata Dutta vented anger over it and demanded punishment of those involved in preparing the list.
Manisha Chakraborty, member secretary of Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal’s district unit, said her father Tapan Chakraborty, who is a listed freedom fighter, was also mentioned as a Razakar in the list.
Her anger does not end here as the list also includes her grandmother Usha Rani Chakraborty, wife of Sudip Chakraborty, a martyred freedom fighter.
Our Barishal correspondent adds the names of some freedom fighters have found their way in the recently published Razakar list. This has come under severe protest across the district.
The Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal brought out a procession in the city yesterday morning. It also arranged a human chain at Sadar Road and burned photocopies of the Razakar list.
The Razakar list published on December 15 contains the name of the freedom fighter advocate Tapan Chakrabarty and his mother Usha Rani. However, Tapan’s father was killed by the Pakistan army on August 12, 1971.
The list also contains the names well-known freedom fighters like Mihir Datta, Jagadish Mukharjee, and Abdul Hai Seniabat.
Abdul Hai is the elder brother of Krishak League founder Abdur Rub Serniabat.
At a press conference, Tapan Chakrabarty claimed that the inclusion of their name in the Razakar list had taken away their will to live. His daughter claimed that the whole thing was a political conspiracy.
Enayet Hosen Choudury, organising commander of the Muktijoddha Sangsad (Barishal command), described the entire fiasco as unbelievable. He demanded immediate punishment of those who prepared the list.
Barishal deputy commissioner SM Agior Rahman said the list was not sent from the office of the district administration. He assured that the problem would be resolved soon.
Similarly, names of a number of Awami League leaders and Liberation War organizers in Rajshahi, Barguna, Chattagram and Bogura remained in the Rajakars list.
Names of martyrs and wounded freedom fighters were also included in the list that created huge resentments in the districts concerned. – Staff Reporter