WITH the malpractice of using forged Freedom Fighters' Certificate by public servants becoming pervasive, the government has set itself the task of defining a freedom fighter. And to facilitate identification of true freedom fighters, a sub-committee has been assigned the job.
It's a sad irony that the freedom fighters have to be identified so long after the War of Liberation. This should have been done conclusively immediately after the War of Independence or at a cut-off point reasonably near it. Our failure to do so has allowed many impostors to get on to the list. Successive governments also were not serious about screening out the undesirable elements. It is disgraceful as it is demeaning for the heroes of our Liberation War.
The recently discovered cases of government officials who resorted to forgery to get Freedom Fighters' Certificate to enjoy benefits and privileges due to the war heroes have put the entire nation to shame. But the government has only revoked those fraudsters' illicitly acquired titles as a measure of their punishment. Considering the degree of crime they committed, the punishment was not enough. A deterrent, exemplary punishment was necessary to strike fear in the hearts of existing as well as would-be fakes.
Since some 5,000 others, of whom 300 are government servants, are also learnt to be under investigation for having fraudulently obtained Freedom Fighters' certificates, the government can ill-afford to lower its guard on intruders.