Sector commanders for list of collaborators | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 16, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 16, 2007

Sector commanders for list of collaborators

The sector commanders of the Liberation War have demanded drawing up a list of collaborators of the Pakistan occupation forces alongside preparing a complete and authentic list of the freedom fighters.
Though the government had recently said that it has been pondering about making a single list of the freedom fighters, it did not make any positive sign about preparing a list of the collaborators.
"At present, we're concerned only about the list of the freedom fighters," Secretary to Ministry of Liberation War Affairs Abul Kasem Mahbubul Alam told the reporters on December 9 when asked about listing the collaborators.
However, the decision to prepare the single list is yet to be finalised.
As the demand for the trial of the war criminals is getting stronger in the wake of recent audacious statements by Jamaat-e-Islami leaders about Liberation War and war criminals, the demand for listing those who had opposed and acted against the Liberation War had also been reiterated.
"It is high time to list the collaborators and try them for their offences. The whole nation is now united on this issue," Maj Gen (retd) KM Shafiullah, commander of Sector 3, told The Daily Star yesterday.
It would be easier to prepare a list of the collaborators than to list all the freedom fighters, he observed, adding: "Apart from those who had acted against our independence, all the people can be called freedom fighters."
Lt Gen (retd) Mir Shawkat Ali, commander of Sector 5, estimates that less than 2 percent of seven crore people of the then Bangladesh had acted against independence of the nation.
"We need to prepare a list of the freedom fighters who have been maimed and are hard up and help them. But what we need more is to list the collaborators and bring them to trial," he said.
LISTS OF FREEDOM FIGHTERS
Decrying the failure to prepare a complete list of the freedom fighters even after 36 years of independence, Air Vice Marshall (retd) AK Khondoker, the deputy chief of Liberation War forces, said "The then government should have finalised a complete list of freedom fighters immediately after the Liberation War as the sector commanders and the army headquarters had the lists then."
Some 1.20 lakh people had received arms training in India, he said adding that scores others who did not get any such training, also took part in the war.
KM Shafiullah said that the first certificates for the freedom fighters were issued with the signature of General MAG Osmani immediately after the Liberation War. Those were distributed through the sector commanders, he added.
"While preparing lists of freedom fighters later on, different governments had made their own men freedom fighters and included them in the lists," he observed.
Four separate lists have been prepared since 1980, which are incomplete, strewn with errors and contain fake names, while many real freedom fighters were left out.
Officials at liberation war affairs ministry said the work on the first list, 'Muktijoddhader Jatiya Talika' (national list of freedom fighters), began in 1980 and continued through 1986. The list has 1,02,458 names.
With the help of the Indian authorities, Bangladesh Freedom Fighters Welfare Trust prepared the second list between 1988 and 1989. The names of 69,833 freedom fighters were recorded in this effort.
In 1994-95, the then BNP government prepared the third list, 'Voter Suchak' (voter index), with the names of some 86,000 people.
The Awami League government during 1996-99, drew up the fourth list, 'Mukti Barta'. Some 186,790 people were enrolled in three parts of 'Mukti Barta.'
Acknowledging that many people have resorted to cheating for registering their names although they never fought against the Pakistani occupation forces in 1971, many real freedom fighters did not make it to the lists, the liberation war affairs secretary had observed on December 9.
The caretaker government is pondering about making a single list with the names of the genuine freedom fighters and including those who remain left out, he had added.
However, talking to The Daily Star on Thursday, he said that the decision to prepare the single list is yet to be finalised.
Strongly demanding a single complete list, AK Khondoker said, "An authentic list can still be prepared by checking with the sector commanders, company and platoon captains."

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