Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the ‘anti-quota movement’ is indirectly meant for opposing the facility for the freedom fighters and their family members to get government jobs.
She said her government was considering the matter in line with the order passed by the country’s apex court.
“We cannot ignore the court order and abolish completely the freedom fighters quota,” Hasina said while inaugurating electronic payment of allowances for the freedom fighters at her Gonobhaban residence on Tuesday.
“We have constituted a committee headed by the cabinet secretary to look into the matter,” she added.
Hasina opened the electronic payment system called G2P or “Government to Person” for disbursing the freedom fighters’ monthly allowance and other financial benefits.
The Prime Minister said the AL government has ensured the quota for the freedom fighters and their family members so that they could take part in running the republic.
The government has already decided that if the freedom fighters children were not found to fill up the quota reserved for them, candidates from the merit list would fill the positions in line with an order of the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division.
Liberation war Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq also spoke on the occasion while secretary of the ministry Apurup Chowdhury gave a presentation on the overall activities of the ministry. Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Md. Nojibur Rahman conducted the programme.
Apurup Chowdhury said out of total 230,438 gazetted freedom fighters, 1,86,404 would get the allowance through digital payment system and each of them would get monthly allowance of Taka 10,000, two festival bonuses, a new-year bonus and other financial supports.
Hasina said Bangabandhu introduced 30 percent quota for freedom fighters in government services after the liberation war along with 10 percent quota for women and physically challenged persons and honoured every martyred Freedom Fighters family offering them financial assistance despite the post independent Bangladesh’s economic crisis.
Assuming office in 1996, she said, her government found no freedom fighter as candidate for the government jobs despite enhancement of their age limit.
The premier said the situation prompted her government to introduce the quota system for freedom fighters children and grandchildren to ensure their stake in the country’s governance.
“But, some of our intellectuals who have no knowledge about the court order are speaking for annulment of the freedom fighters’ quota in their television talk-shows, writings and speeches,” she said.
The premier said at one stage of a violent anti-quota movement by a group of rowdy students she told the parliament that the system would be annulled though the movement and subsequent attack on Dhaka University vice chancellor’s residence was completely unacceptable.
“We have to ensure that anti-liberation force and war criminals cannot come to power again or hold any post in the government machinery,” she said.
Hasina said after Bangabandhu’s brutal killing, the anti-liberation forces ruled the country, distorted the nation’s history, destroyed social and political fabrics and exposed the country to economic bankruptcy, according to state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sanstha news agency.