General

BNP criticises move to repeal Zia’s gallantry title

Protesting the decision to remove their party founder Ziaur Rahman’s Bir Uttam gallantry title, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday described the move as a “stigma” to the Liberation War.

“I think the decision of the Jatiya Muktijoddha Council to repeal the gallantry title (conferred on Zia) has been taken completely out of political vengeance,” he said.

Talking to UNB, Fakhrul, now in Singapore for treatment, also said those who took this decision ‘don’t have respect’ for the Liberation War.

“They are against the independence, the Liberation War and completely against the freedom fighters. The War of Independence has been stigmatised with this decision. I strongly condemn and protest such a move,” he said.

The Jatiya Muktijoddha Council at a meeting on Tuesday decided to scrap the gallantry award of Ziaur Rahman for ‘violating’ the constitution, ‘abetting’ the self-proclaimed killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in escaping the country.

The meeting also decided to repeal then state-given awards to Bangabandhu’s four convicted killers Noor Chowdhury, Shariful Haque Dalim, Mosleh Uddin and Rashed Chowdhury.

Bir Uttam, the second-highest award for individual gallantry in Bangladesh, was conferred on Ziaur Rahman for his contributions to the Liberation War as a sector commander.

Fakhrul said of the Jatiya Muktijoddha Council has taken this move to divert people’s attention to a different direction from the government’s ‘misdeeds and corruption’ that are being surfaced in various ways.

Recalling the ‘memorable’ role of Ziaur Rahman in the Liberation War in 1971, he said, their party founder not only ‘proclaimed’ the country’s independence but also fought inside the country against the Pakistani occupation forces for nine months as a sector commander.

The BNP leader said claimed that every citizen in the country and people across the world know that the ‘Liberation War’ in Bangladesh started with Zia’s ‘declaration’ of independence.

He also said it was the government of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman that conferred the Bir Uttam title on Zia after the country’s independence.

Fakhrul went to Singapore for treatment at Farrer Park Hospital for various health complexities on January 30 last.