No move yet to protect sanctity of war sites | 2017-12-17 |

No move yet to protect sanctity of war sites

Firoz Al Mamun     17th December, 2017 09:46:11 printer

No move yet to protect sanctity of war sites

The government has not executed a court order asking it to demarcate and protect the historic liberation war sites in the country.

One of the sites is located at Suhrawardy Udyan wherefrom Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered his historic March 7 speech.

Nearly eight years ago, the High Court issued the order which is still going unheeded.

The court asked the government to construct a “liberty square” at Suhrawardy Udyan where the Pakistani commander surrendered to the allied forces commander on December 16, 1971.

Sources said the government authorities are paying no heed to all the eight directives from the HC.

The UNESCO has recently recognised the historic March 7 speech of Bangabandhu as part of the world’s documentary heritage.

The speech has been included in the Memory of the World International Register, a list of world’s important documentary heritage.

The government has hailed the recognition of the speech and made celebrations, but is yet to demarcate and protect the site.

The HC directives have not been complied with by the government authorities, said Advocate Manzill Murshid.

If the HC directives come into effect, liberation war sites will be protected, he added.

An HC division bench comprising Justice ABM Khairul Haque and Justice M Mamtaz Uddin Ahmed issued the order upon a writ petition on July 8, 2009.

KM Shafiullah, one of the sector commanders of the war, and Professor Muntassir Mamun, a noted historian, filed the petition. Sources at the Liberation War Affairs Ministry claimed that sites of mass graves have been identified, but monuments are yet to be constructed.

Even designs of monuments have not been finalised and no funds allocated.

On August 25, 2010 the HC issued eight directives to uphold the dignity and sanctity of the Central Shaheed Minar that was set up to maintain the spirit of the Language Movement and pay tribute to its heroes.

On February 19 this year, the court directed the government to take steps for abiding by its eight directives, including setting up of a museum for upholding dignity and sanctity of the Shaheed Minar.