Unacceptable, contradicts constitution
A parliamentary body's recommendation to find substitutes for female UNOs at freedom fighters' guard of honour is unacceptable and it is contradictory to the constitution, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque said.
"This recommendation directly contradicts the country's constitution. There is no way to consider this recommendation. We will not accept such recommendations," the minister told The Daily Star yesterday.
On June 13, the parliamentary standing committee on Liberation War affairs ministry at a meeting asked the ministry concerned to find substitutes for female upazila nirbahi officers during the guard of honour given to valiant freedom fighters after their deaths.
Ruling Awami League lawmaker Shajahan Khan presided over the meeting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban. The minister, who is a member of the standing committee, was also present at the meeting.
According to meeting sources, a committee member raised the issue of arranging the guard of honour ceremony in the presence of UNOs who are female.
The member said women do not usually take part in namaz-e-janaza. Many people ask questions about this. Therefore, while giving the guard of honour to a freedom fighter in places where the UNO is female, the task should be given to a male officer.
Assistant commissioner (land), education officer, agriculture officer or any such officer can do the task.
Different organisations strongly denounced the recommendation, terming it humiliating for women and contradictory to the constitution.
Several MPs, including one from the ruling party, criticised the committee in parliament.