News Desk: The government today cancelled freedom fighters’ certificates of five top bureaucrats after probe found they had obtained the certificates without fulfilling conditions properly.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haq revealed this before journalists after a meeting with Jatiya Muktijoddha Council in Moghbazar area of Dhaka this afternoon.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has found that the top bureaucrats obtained the certificates “illegally” to extend their service period last year.
Three of the five bureaucrats are secretaries, one a joint secretary and the other is chairman of the privatisation commission.
They are: Health Secretary Niaz Uddin Mia, Public Service Commission Secretary AKM Amir Hossain, former Liberation War Affairs secretary KH Masud Siddiqui (now an officer on special duty-OSD), former joint secretary of Liberation War Affairs ministry Abul Kashem Talukder (currently an OSD) and Privatisation Commission Chairman and former PMO secretary Molla Waheeduzzaman.
Thana-level investigation across the country will be conducted against those who obtained the freedom fighters’ certificates despite not having their names either in the Red Book or in the list of the Indian government, minister Mozammel Haq said while brifing reporters today.
The Red Book or “Mukti Barta” was prepared by the Awami League government during its 1996-2001 tenure, which contained around 1.54 lakh freedom fighters.
In 1973, the Indian government sent a list of 69,509 freedom fighters who received training in that country.
Of them, the freedom fighters who applied for certificates were included in the Red Book.
According to the ACC probe report submitted to the liberation war affairs ministry, the then state minister for liberation war affairs AB Tajul Islam abused his power to illegally issue freedom fighters certificates to five government officials last year.
Irregularities were rife in the process and Tajul issued the certificates using his unilateral power, bypassing the relevant law and the Jatiya Muktijoddha Council, commission sources said.
Under the law, the ministry cannot issue any freedom fighter certificate without the recommendation of the council. Doing so is a violation of the Muktijoddha Council Act-2002.
The anti-graft body, which was investigating the five, including three incumbent secretaries, sent its report to the ministry on September 8.
The commission recommended revoking their certificates as they had resorted to forgery to obtain those.