Decision on Ziaur Rahman after allegations against him are proven
The government has finalized its decision to revoke the gallantry titles of four self-confessed killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family.
However, the decision on late president Ziaur Rahman’s Bir Uttom gallantry award will be made after the allegations brought against him are proven.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque disclosed the matter on Wednesday, while speaking to journalists after attending a meeting on law and order, held at the secretariat in Dhaka.
The self-confessed killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman are – SHBM Noor Chowdhury, Shariful Haque Dalim, Rashed Chowdhury, and Risaldar Moslehuddin alias Muslem Uddin Khan.
Responding to a query, the minister said: “It has been decided on principle to cancel the state titles and medals awarded to the four killers of Bangabandhu. We will publish the decision in the form of a gazette. I don’t want to make any comments before that.”
In 1973, the then government of Bangladesh awarded Bir Sreshtho title to seven, Bir Uttom to 68, Bir Bikrom to 175, and Bir Protik to 426.
Another person was posthumously conferred with the Bir Uttom title in 2010.
Of the Bangabandhu killers, the Bir Uttom title was conferred on Dalim and Noor, while the Bir Protik title on Rashed and Moslehuddin. All of them were stripped of the state honour on February 9 this year by Jatiya Muktijoddha Council, well known as Jamuka, in its 72nd meeting.
Also, the High Court on December 15 last year suspended the freedom fighter gallantry awards of the four fugitive killers.
What about Zia’s gallantry title?
The liberation war affairs minister said the allegations against Zia had to be proven; only then a decision could be made on the state honour conferred on him for his role during the Liberation War.
“Any decision on him depends on proving the allegations against him [Zia], since any decision can be challenged in court,” the minister further said.
In February, Jamuka revoked Zia’s gallantry award for reportedly violating the constitution, appointing the killers of Bangabandhu to important posts and finally, helping them flee the country.
On the matter, the minister said: “We believe he might be linked to the assassination of Bangabandhu, which the killers also hinted at.
“But making an assumption and proving it is not the same. We have already formed a sub-committee to submit a report on this issue,” he said.
The report, he said, had not been submitted as of Wednesday.