A Bangladeshi court on Tuesday ordered authorities to scrap names from memorial plaques and tablets of people who were opposed to the country’s 1971 independence from Pakistan. “The two-member bench issued the order asking the secretaries of education and local government ministries to remove the names of all anti-liberation people from the plaques in schools or other establishments and roads and highways,” a court official said on the order by the High Court bench. He added that the bench comprising Justice Kazi Rezaul Haque and Justice Mohammad Ullah asked top bureaucrats of the two ministries to submit compliance reports in next 60 days.
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Court officials said the order came on a supplementary petition on a writ filed three years ago when the court in a primary ruling ordered renaming of a historic highway, Jessore Road, and auditorium of state-run Kushtia Islamic University, as those were named after Khan A Sabur and Shah Azizur Rahman. Sabur was a top Muslim League leader and minister at the time of the war while Azizur was prime minister in the now defunct presidential system under slain president Ziaur Rahman.
Both were opposed to the country’s independence from Pakistan and were arrested and tried as collaborators of the Pakistani junta after the emergence of Bangladesh. But later they managed to regain a space in politics after the August 15, 1975 coup which toppled the post independence government killing the country’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members.
The development came as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Awami League has launched a massive campaign to restore the “liberation war spirit” which in recent years saw the trial of the leading perpetrators of crimes against humanity during the liberation war.