A partial list of freedom fighters, who took part in the Liberation War or directly supported the fighters, has been published by the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs.
In the first phase, a total of 1,47,537 freedom fighters have been enlisted by the ministry, said Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque at a press briefing on Thursday.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and the four national leaders – former vice-president Syed Nazrul Islam, former prime minister Tajuddin Ahmed and Captain (retd) Mansur Ali, and former home minister AHM Quamruzzaman – are on the top of the list.
Additionally, the ministry also published the names of 191 martyred intellectuals who lost their lives in the War of Liberation in 1971.
Mozammel Haque said Jatiya Muktijoddha Council, Jamuka (National Freedom Fighters Council) has listed those freedom fighters who were verified at the upazila level and have no allegations of fraud against them.
"According to the Jamuka Act, those who have been left out of the list will be screened in the upazila if they apply. This policy was not followed from 2002 to 2009. And during the period about 38,000 people were included in the gazette. They may or may not be freedom fighters."
The list of freedom fighters has been included in the gazette at different times and that inclusion has been re-examined and verified, he added.
"The list of gazette holders will be given on 30 April while the secondary list will be published in May and the final list will be published by June 30 next."
The minister said there will be hearings of those who have allegations of fraud against them.
"From now on no one can apply to be included in the list of freedom fighters. However, if anyone is left out, they can appeal," added Mozammel Haque.
However, the minister hinted that the number of genuine freedom fighters will not be more than 1,70,000.
Earlier, a total of 1, 92,000 freedom fighters got honorarium from the government whereas around 21,000 freedom fighters have decreased in the management information system (MIS).
About the Bangabandhu killers, the minister said their names will remain in the freedom fighters' list as they took part in the war.
However, their offense will be mentioned next to their names as well as their gallantry title will be revoked.
"We have formed a committee that will investigate the involvement of Ziaur Rahman in the assassination of Bangabandhu within two months. Once the committee publishes its findings, the Muktijoddha Council will take decisions scrutinising the documents," he said.
The minister also disclosed that a law is being legislated empowering the Muktijoddha Council to publish the list of Razakars, collaborators of the occupying Pakistani force.
"As soon as the law is passed in the cabinet meeting, we will publish the list of Razakars in a quick manner. It will be done by 16 December this year," he added.