Priyobhashinee recognised as freedom fighter | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 12, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:56 AM, August 12, 2016

Priyobhashinee recognised as freedom fighter

Ferdousi Priyobhashinee was one of the victims of the Pakistani occupation forces that together with their local collaborators violated almost a quarter of a million Bangalee women.

Aged 23 during the Liberation War, she was not one to be silneced by the torment she had gone through.

After being freed from the clutches of her tormentors towards the end of the war in 1971, she stood by the women abused like her and spoke of her ordeal in public, unlike most others who buried their agonies deep inside them because of the social stigma associated with it.

Finally, the country, for which they made their significant sacrifice, has come forward to give her the recognition she so deserves.

The government yesterday issued a gazette notification acknowledging the Birangana as freedom fighter.

"I am happy; I am extremely happy," said Priyobhashinee as she gave her reaction to The Daily Star.

"Any kind of recognition brings happiness and so I am happy. This recognition means a lot to me.”

Priyobhashinee also expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haq for giving her the honour.

Before her, 122 women were honoured as freedom fighters by the government in phases. 

The government for the first time in October last year recognised 41 Biranganas as freedom fighters.

Over 200 applications from Biranganas are now under scrutiny of Jatiya Muktijoddha Council, the central platform of freedom fighters. The government will give them the status of freedom fighter in phases once the scrutiny is done. 

At least 1.62 lakh women were raped, and another 1.31 lakh Hindu women went missing during the Liberation War, according to the War Crimes Facts and Findings Committee led by Dr M Hassan. The Hindu women are believed to have been raped and killed in the Pakistani army camps.

The process of recognising the Biranganas as freedom fighters began following a High Court order in January 2014.

The court asked the government to explain why it should not be directed to upgrade the social status of the war heroines and to give them the state honour and facilities like freedom fighters.

Once recognised, the Biranganas will receive the benefits that freedom fighters are entitled to -- a monthly allowance of Tk 8,000 and special quotas in the government jobs and many more benefits for their children and grandchildren.

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