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Jatiya Muktijoddha Council Act draft pending for 2 years

Published : 16 Dec 2021 10:34 PM

The proposed amendments to the ‘Jatiya Muktijoddha Council Act-2020’, which incorporated a provision to enable the council to recommend the government to publish the list of Razakars and other anti-liberation elements, have been pending for about two years. 

The Liberation War Affairs Ministry prepared the draft of the fresh ‘Jatiya Muktijoddha Council Act’ in 2019. The draft was discussed in the inter-ministerial meeting on December 29 of that year and some recommendations were also taken from various ministries. 

Later, the Cabinet approved a draft of the fresh ‘Jatiya Muktijoddha Council Act-2020’ on December 7 in 2020 with two amendments. 

However, the ministry last June sent a additional proposal to the Cabinet Division for presentation in the Cabinet again. However, it has not been approved yet. As a result, the list of Razakars, who opposed the independence of Bangladesh during the Bangladesh War of Liberation, is pending. 

The existing ‘Jatiya Muktijoddha Council Act-2002’ does not mention the publication of the list of Razakars. For this reason, the step had been taken to bring an amendment to the law aiming to give legal form to the list of the Razakars. 

Secretary of the Liberation War Affairs Ministry Khwaja Mia said that the list of Razakars must be published. However, it will be done after the enactment of the fresh law. Otherwise, legal complications may arise. He, however, said that the amendment to the law has been finalized after taking opinions from all concerned. So, it took some time.

As per the draft law, the Jatiya Muktijoddha Council will have the authority to recommend the list of those who had opposed the Liberation War of Bangladesh being acted as members of Razakar, Al Badr and Al Shams or engaged in the war as members of the para-military forces from March 26 to December 16 in 1971. The government will publish a gazette notification to this end.

According to the proposed law, the council will recommend legal action against gazetted and certified freedom fighters who made their way into the list on the basis of false information.    

The proposed law also suggested the formation, operation and funding of the Jatiya Muktijoddha Council and registration of freedom fighters and their organisations in a more precise way. With the passage of the fresh law, the existing ‘Jatiya Muktijoddha Council Act-2002′ will be annulled.

An official of the Liberation War Ministry said that a draft list of more than 2,500 Razakars had been compiled across the country. 

He also said that the government has a plan to take a comprehensive programme to implement the spirit and ideologies of the liberation war. As part of this, the initiative was taken is to identify the Razakars by publishing the list. However, the people concerned think that it is important to publish this list to bring the anti-liberation elements under the law.