Alternative to female UNO at guard of honour unacceptable, contradicts constitution: Mozammel
The recommendation made by a parliamentary body to take necessary measures to find alternatives to a female UNO's presence during the guard of honour given to freedom fighters after their deaths will not be accepted as it contradicts the constitution, said Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque today.
"This recommendation directly contradicts with the country's constitution. There is no scope to consider this recommendation. We will not accept such recommendation," the minister told The Daily Star over the phone.
Earlier on June 13, the parliamentary standing committee on Liberation War Affairs ministry asked the ministry concerned to find an alternative to a female UNO's presence during the guard of honour for valiant freedom fighters.
Ruling Awami League lawmaker Shajahan Khan presided over the meeting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban and Minister Mozammel as a member of the parliamentary watchdog was also present at the meeting.
According to the meeting sources, a committee member raised the "issue of the guard of honour given to a freedom fighter where the UNO concerned is female".
The member said, "usually women do not take part in namaz-e-janaza. Many in society raise questions about this. Therefore, in case of giving the guard of honour to a freedom fighter in jurisdictions where the UNO is female, it is necessary to give the charge to a male officer."
In that case, assistant commissioner (land), upazila education officer, upazila agriculture officer or any such officer could be kept as alternative persons for the job.
Different quarters and organisations strongly denounced the parliamentary committee's recommendation terming it a humiliation for women and contradictory to the constitution.
Even a ruling party MP in parliament came down heavily on the parliamentary committee saying she couldn't imagine how a parliamentary watchdog, in this case, the Liberation War affairs ministry, could come up with such a recommendation.