Bnp leaders seek to defuse row over number of martyred FFs

Bnp leaders seek to defuse row over number of martyred FFs

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A number of BNP on Friday called for an opinion poll to determine the exact figure of martyred freedom fighters as their chairperson Khaleda Zia has attracted criticism from leaders of the ruling Awami League and its allies for raising question on the number of people who embraced martyrdom in the 1971 Liberation War.“Khaleda Zia said there’s a controversy over the issue. She, however, didn’t say the number is higher or lower. Late MP Akbar Hossain had also raised this question in Parliament during 1991,” said BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy.
Addressing a discussion, he said, “I would like to tell the journalists to conduct a survey on her speech on the issue. The number can be determined if people are asked to send names of people through SMS about those who were gunned down by Pakistanis or died naturally during the Liberation War.” The BNP leader also said there is no need to debate the matter.
Speaking at the same programme, BNP joint secretary general, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged that the ruling party intellectuals are criticising Khaleda as there is a lack of information on the exact number of martyred freedom fighters.
Earlier on December 21, Khaleda at a discussion at Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh raised questions about the number of Liberation War martyrs.
“There are controversies over how many were martyred in the Liberation War. There are also many books and documents on the controversies,” said Khaleda. The official number of the 1971 Liberation War martyrs is 30 lakh.
Khaleda’s remarks triggered widespread criticism, prompting Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee to ask her to withdraw her comments and apologise.
A defamation case was filed on Thursday against Khaleda for raising question about the figures of Liberation War martyrs.
Raihan Faruki Imam, a resident of Chapail village in Kalia upazila of district, filed the case against the BNP chief with Sadar cognisance court.
Gayeshwar also said the exact statistics can be determined within seven days now using different technologies.
He also urged the government to conduct a survey through the Liberation War Affair Ministry to reveal the fact. – Agencies

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