The 22nd death anniversary of eminent writer and social worker Shaheed Janani Jahanara Imam, who almost singlehandedly spearheaded the movement for war crimes trial, was observed with due respect.
Different social and cultural organizations across the country organized different programmes marking the day. Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee organized a discussion at the auditorium of Women's Voluntary Association (WVA) at Dhanmondi in the city, in observance of the 22nd death anniversary of its founder, with Justice Syed Amirul Islam in the chair.
Journalists Kamal Lohani and Shahriar Kabir, Shaheedjaya Shyamali Nasreen Chowdhury, Dhaka University History Department Professor Muntassir Mamoon and National University (NU) Vice-Chancellor Professor Harun-or-Rashid, among others, addressed the discussion. On the occasion, Jahanara Imam Memorial Award was conferred on National University as an institution for its role in war crimes trial and in establishing spirit of Liberation War. "This award is the recognition of our works. We are very happy", NU Vice-Chancellor Professor Harun-or-Rashid said after receiving the award.
He said they have taken different steps including introduction of a mandatory course of 100-mark titled 'history of emergence of Independent Bangladesh' for all students irrespective of arts, science, social science and commerce at honours (pass) and degree level.
Mentioning the award increased their duties further, the vice-chancellor said, "We are in a war . . .this war would not end if the war crimes trials are completed . . .this war will continue until the safety of all Bangladeshis including minority people are ensured, the communalism is uprooted and spirit of Liberation War is established at society and state". The Ghatak-Dalal Nirmul Committee set up mock trials in Dhaka on 26 March 1992 known as Gono Adalat (People's Court) and 'sentenced' persons they accused of being war criminals. Imam and others were charged with treason during the government of Bangladesh Nationalist party. Jahanara Imam breathed her last due to cancer on June 26, 1994.