Indigenous FFs yet to get due recognition
Indigenous people made a significant contribution to the War of Liberation, but they are yet to get due recognition, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.
The government list of freedom fighters having the names of indigenous people proves that their contribution to the Liberation War is not negligible, they said.
Six war heroes from the indigenous communities were given a reception at the seminar organised by the Research and Development Collective (RDC), a non-governmental organisation, at the Biam auditorium in the city.
The six freedom fighters are Ushit Mong of Cox's Bazar, Goda Orao of Joypurhat, Chin Sangma of Netrakona, Nikhil Hajong of Mymensingh, Manindra Kishore Tripura of Matiranga in Khagrachhari and Lawrence Marandi of Joypurhat.
The speakers said the indigenous people fought hand in hand with the Bangalees in the Liberation War. Lakhs of ethnic people lost their lands and property and suffered repression. But their sacrifice, struggle and contribution were not recorded in the history books, they added.
Even the original constitution did not recognise their role in the Liberation War, they said.
A keynote paper by Prof Mesbah Kamal and Jannat-e-Ferdousi was presented at the seminar.
They said some 1300 indigenous people of Garo, Hajong and Coach communities in Mymensingh took part in the Liberation War. Of them, 115 people fought under Sector 11 at Haluaghat and few of them embraced martyrdom.
Indigenous people from Chittagong Hill Tracts and Sylhet tea garden also joined the Liberation War. Training centres for freedom fighters were also set up at Rangamati and Ramgarh Sadar.
Former lawmaker Promod Mankin, cultural personality Nasiruddin Yusuff, Maj Gen (retd) Amin Ahmed Chowdhury, Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation Rina Roy and RDC Chairman Prof Dr HKS Arefin also attended the seminar.