The government on Thursday published a corrected partial list of freedom fighters and a fresh list of martyred intellectuals, keeping Bangabandhu and four other national leaders on the top of the list.
The Liberation War Affairs Ministry has recognised some 147,537 persons as freedom fighters and 191 persons as martyred intellectuals in first phase.In the list, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,
four national leaders and key persons of the wartime national government—acting President Syed Nazrul Islam, Prime Minister Tajuddin Ahmed and cabinet ministers M Mansur Ali and AHM Qamruzzaman --- are on the top of the list.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque released the lists of freedom fighters and martyred intellectuals at a press conference at the secretariat office in the capital.
The minister said Jatiya Muktijoddha Council (Jamuka) has listed the names of freedom fighters after verifying them at upazila level.
“The list of freedom fighters has been gazetted at different times. According to the Jamuka Act, those who have been left out of the list will be screened in the upazila if they apply. This policy was not followed from 2002 to 2009,” he said.
The minister said some 35,000 remain out of the gazette as Jamuka is yet to give final nod and reports have been received from 434 upazilas to regularise the rest of the freedom fighters.“Another list will be published by June this year after scrutinising and appeal hearing,” he said.
The valiant freedom fighter also said that a list of intellectuals has been prepared at last.
“Even though we observed Martyred Intellectuals Day on December 14, we could not make a list of intellectuals,” he said. To this effect, a committee has been formed with eminent researchers of the country and the committee has set a definition of martyred intellectuals, he said. In the first phase, names of some 191 martyred intellectuals have been published and the rest will be published after scrutiny, Haque added.
The minister also said from now on, no one can apply to be included in the list of freedom fighters if anyone is left out, they can appeal.
According to the list, some 37,387 in Dhaka, 30,053 in Chattogram, 17,630 in Khulna, 15,158 in Rangpur, 13,899 in Rajshahi, 12,563 in Barishal and 10264 in Sylhet were verified as freedom fighters. Due to repeated controversies centring on the list of freedom fighters, the government in 2017 took initiative to scrutinise the list and prepared a complete list.
But the initiative also faced controversies as the authorities concerned inducted names of Razakars in the freedom fighters’ list. Currently, a total of 201,461 freedom fighters get honorarium from the government whereas 251,285 more people claim themselves as freedom fighters.
The minister said earlier the number of genuine freedom fighters will not be more than 210,000.