The government will certainly ensure trial of listed members of the Razakar, an anti-liberation force, if it finds evidence in investigation against them, according to Law Minister Anisul Huq.
"International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) will investigate and decide whom they will produce before the court for trial. Listed Razakar men will certainly be tried if the ICT finds evidence of crimes against them," said the minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.
He said this on Sunday at a press briefing in the Secretariat after a meeting with Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister and Law Minister Upendra Yadav.
Md Golam Sarwar, secretary to the Law and Justice Division, and Dr Banshidhar Mishra, Nepal's ambassador to Bangladesh, were also present in the meeting.
Asked about his feeling over the list of Razakar so many years after the 1971 Liberation War, Anisul Huq said everything should be unambiguous in history.
"New generations should learn true history. We have gone through a time when the rulers hesitated to say how we earned independence, who brought it and who led the liberation war," he said.
There was a time and atmosphere when there was hesitation to pronounce the name of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the minister further said. "Such a situation should see an end."
He expressed hope that the list of Razakar members and the true history of the Liberation War will help new generations build a beautiful, powerful and developed Bangladesh.
The Ministry of Liberation War Affairs on Sunday published names of 10,789 members of anti-liberation forces, including Razakar, Al Badr and Al Shams. They collaborated with the Pakistani occupation forces during the 1971 liberation war and committed crimes against humanity.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque unveiled the list. The full list of local collaborators is available on the ministry's website https://molwa.gov.bd/.
The minister said they published a portion of the full list and that the rest of the names will be disclosed gradually.
"We collected the names of collaborators from documents preserved in the home ministry. We asked deputy commissioners to provide the names of Razakar, Al Badr, Al Shams and other anti-liberation forces whose names were on different government papers," he said.
He assured that none will be included on the list without valid documents. "The names [of collaborators] will be crosschecked and finalised after a probe."
"We have been trying to recover all the gazettes published in 1971. A so-called by-election was held in 1971. We have asked the Election Commission to provide us with a list of winners in that election. The commission is yet to provide it, though," he added.
To a question about possibility of publishing the list in a gazette, the minister replied the government may publish a gazette if the people want.
Minister Mozammel alleged the BNP-Jamaat government destroyed many documents on Razakar, Al Badr, Al Shams and other anti-liberation forces. "That is why we are in a severe problem in collecting the names [of collaborators]."
Even Jamaat tried to remove the names of collaborators from the home ministry's documents, he further alleged.
The Razakar was an anti-Bangladesh paramilitary force organised by the Pakistan Army during the 1971 War of Liberation. The local armed force guided the Pakistan army through the unknown terrain of Bangladesh. It played a vital role in killing, looting and raping of the Bengalis during the liberation war.
Final list of freedom fighters on March 26
Meanwhile, the minister also talked about publishing a final list of freedom fighters. He said the list will be published on the Independence Day (March 26) in 2020.
"We have been collecting lists [of freedom fighters] from field levels and scrutinising them. The ministry will publish the final list on upcoming Independence Day," the minister said.
At present, a total of 2,01,461 freedom fighters get state honorarium, but 2,51,285 people claim themselves to be freedom fighters, the minister continued.
"We will examine and crosscheck the list by March 2020. But the total number will not be more than 2,10,000," the minister further said.