The Supreme Court today upheld a High Court verdict that directed the government to recognise 2,367 guerrilla fighters, who participated in the Liberation War in 1971, as freedom fighters.
These guerillas were from National Awami Party (NAP), Communist Party and Chhatra Union. They were initially recognised as freedom fighters. Later, the gallantry was revoked.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by the Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha dismissed a petition filed by the government seeking stay on the HC verdict.
On September 8 last year, the HC directed the government to recognise the 2,367 guerrilla fighters as freedom fighters and to give them proper dignity and status.
Later on, the government filed a petition with the SC seeking stay on the HC verdict.
A special guerrilla force was formed with the leaders and activists of National Awami Party (NAP), Communist Party and Chhatra Union after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the independence of the country on March 26, 1971.
The deputy commanders of the guerrilla force formally surrendered their arms to Bangabandhu at Dhaka National Stadium on January 30, 1972.
The government in exile in 1971 and the government led by Bangabandhu had recognised the members of the guerrilla force as freedom fighters, it said, adding that the names of the members of the guerrilla force were published in government notifications.
The petition also stated that the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs on July 22, 2013, published a gazette notification on the list of 2,367 guerrillas including Comrade Moni Singh and NAP President Prof Mozaffar Ahmed, two advisers to the then government in exile, as freedom fighters.
Later in October 2014, the government revoked their certificates.
Source: Daily Star, Dhaka Bangladesh.