Shafique Urges Alems to Support War Crimes Trial
Sunday, 25 July 2010

Law minister Shafique Ahmed has urged Muslim marriage officials to be watchful about wrong portrayal of the war crimes trial.

He said, "Those who committed heinous crimes like murder, rape, looting and arson during the war of independence in 1971 should not be pardoned."

Speaking at a seminar on the role of registrars in prevention of child marriage, organised by Bangladesh Muslim Marriage Registrar's Council, at BMA community centre in Dhaka on Saturday, the law minister spoke about the government's hyped agenda, while the marriage officials placed their demands.

The law minister said, "Attempts are being made to create confusion about the war crime trials", adding, "We are taking steps to bring to justice those who committed crimes against humanity. It is unacceptable in a society and country where those criminals will boastfully move around with impunity".

"The government will not try any innocent. If criminals try to save themselves through any political party's shelter, their trial does not mean a trial of that party."

"You (Alems and Kazis) will have to clarify this to the people. You will have to be cautious so that the criminals cannot create any confusion in the society," Shafique added.

He also addressed the government initiative to review the constitution, saying, "Those who changed the constitution did not do the right thing. The government has initiated to restore the spirit of the liberation war by reviewing the constitution in line with the High Court order".

Shafique assured the Kazis that the government would take steps to address their rational demands. But he said it would not be appropriate to raise the registration fee from Tk 10,000 to Tk 15,000 because it could be a pressure on the general people as those in the rural areas does not have a similar financial capacity as the city dwellers.

The law minister, however, expressed his support in favour of the raise, saying, "The fees should be increased many folds as it would stop inhuman incidents like divorces."

State minister for law Kamrul Islam urged support from the Alem and Kazi community by pointing out that many Alems supported the independence war against Pakistan.

"Alems always play an important role in the society. You were never on terrorism's side. There are about three lakh mosques in the country. Inform the people about the trials of the war criminals and inspire them to back the process wholeheartedly," he urged.


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