The High Court today asked the government to explain why it should not be directed to upgrade the social status of Birangona (war heroines) and to provide them with state honour and facilities like those of freedom fighters.
In a rule, the court also asked the government to explain in four weeks why it should not be ordered to make a comprehensive list of Birangonas, who were victimized during the country’s Liberation War in 1971, and to issue a gazette notification to this effect before March 26.
In response to a writ petition, the HC further asked the authorities concerned to explain why the silence of the government about this issue for last 42 years after the independence of the country should not be declared illegal.
Seven government high officials including secretaries to the ministries of law, liberation war affairs and finance have been made respondents to the rule, Deputy Attorney General Mokhlesur Rahman told The Daily Star.
The HC bench of Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury and Justice Md Habibul Gani came up with the rule after holding hearing on the writ petition jointly filed by Salma Ali, executive director of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association (BNWLA) and Mitali Hossain, president of former students of Saleha Ihsaque Girls High School.
They filed the petition last week seeking direction from the HC on the government to upgrade the social status of Birangonas and to provide them with state honour and facilities.
The petitioners said in the petition that Birangonas were tortured and victimized during the Liberation War and they had played an important role in achieving independence of the country, but they were not recognized and given any state honour in 42 years after the independence.