Standing committee member of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Gayeshwar Chandra Roy asked to write down the names of three million liberation war martyrs.“History needs to be written correctly. It does not matter who puts whatever figure. Publish the names of each of three million martyrs in newspapers and then file case against Khaleda Zia as much as you can,” said Gayeshwar while addressing a prayer session in the capital.Dhaka city BNP organised the prayer session at the party’s Naya Paltan central office marking the first anniversary of death of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s son Arafat Rahman Koko.BNP chief Khaleda Zia, at a discussion in the city on 21 December, said there is a controversy over the actual number of martyrs in the country’s 1971 liberation war.“There’s a lot of debate over the actual number of martyrs. It is said that such and such lakh [30 lakh or 3 million] embraced martyrdom during the war. How many martyrs are there in reality?” Khaleda said.
Following a petition from a pro-Awami League lawyer, a Dhaka court on 25 January summoned Khaleda Zia to appear before it on 3 March in a sedition case in connection with her remarks on the number of the 1971 liberation war martyrs.In reference to the sedition case, the BNP leader said, “Accusing of sedition at the drop of the hat. Truth would turn seditious and falsehood patriotism – I don’t believe in this policy. Truth is always truth even if it turns bitter.”He continued saying, “Be it three million or six million, we have responsibility towards our martyrs. Why should there be a list of the martyrs? Memorial plaque will have to be erected in the localities.”The BNP leader also called on the state to stand by the families of the martyrs. “It is the responsibility of the state to look after the wellbeing of the martyrs’ family.”