The list of Razakars published recently by the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs might be withdrawn due to massive faults in it. Seeking apologies for the gross mistakes in the list of the Razakars, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque on Tuesday said his ministry would withdraw the list of Razakars if the number of mistakes in the list were to increase.
Even though his ministry did not prepare the list of Razakars, Minister AKM Mozammel Haque accepted the responsibilities and apologised for the mistakes. He made the announcement and sought apologies while talking to journalists at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) over the mistakes in the list of Razakars who collaborated with the Pakistan army, carried out mass killings and atrocities against the Bangalees during the War of Liberation in 1971. The government published the list, a total of 10,789 names as Razakars, on December 15, day before the Victory Day observed on December 16.
“We have not edited the list which was provided by the home ministry. We published it as it was,” the Minister said and added, “We will take measures to bring corrections after proper investigation.” The minister also welcomed the journalists to challenge the ministry and check for themselves the original documents of the list which he claimed was prepared in 1971.
“If the number of mistakes is too many, we will publish a revised list after proper investigation,” he added. The names of at least seven freedom fighters are on the list that was published on Sunday. One of them was tortured to death by the Pakistan army and four of them have passed away. Even more astonishing is the fact that one of the seven freedom fighters is Ghulam Arieff Tipoo, the chief prosecutor of the International Crimes Tribunal, whose job is to prosecute war criminals of 1971.
The tribunals have so far delivered 41 verdicts against 95 people. Of them, 69 have been sentenced to death. None had been acquitted. Meanwhile, expressing dissatisfaction over the list of Razakars, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Tuesday said the Liberation War Affairs Ministry should have properly scrutinised the list of Razakars before publishing it.
“The Liberation War Affairs Ministry didn’t scrutinise the list before publishing it. It should have been scrutinised,” he said, while speaking at a programme organised by Bangladesh Krishak League at Bangabandhu Avenue. The Home Ministry provided a list of Razakars upon request from the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs, he added.
However, the official list of Razakars drew huge criticisms as the name of a Language Movement veteran and war-wounded freedom fighter among others is there in it. Besides, 26 Hindu community members and six women were mentioned as Razakars in the list which contains names of around 1,000 collaborators from Barishal.
Mihir Lal Dutta, a renowned Language Movement activist, died on January 20, 2007. He sustained bullet wounds in his abdomen during the Liberation War. His father and a brother were also martyred during the war. However, surprisingly, he was named as a Razakar in the recently published list. His son Shuvabrata Dutta vented anger over it and demanded punishment of those involved in preparing the list.
Dr Manisha Chakraborty, member secretary of Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal’s district unit, said her father Tapan Chakraborty, who is a listed freedom fighter, was also mentioned as a Razakar in the list. Her anger does not end here as the list also includes her grandmother Usha Rani Chakraborty, wife of Sudip Chakraborty, a martyred freedom fighter.