We can’t forget Indians’ sacrifices for us: Bangladesh minister

Thursday, November 11, 2010

AGARTALA - Bangladesh cannot forget the sacrifices made by Indians to help it gain independence in 1971 and the two countries need to work together to resolve issues, visiting Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said in Tripura Thursday.

“The history and culture of both India and Bangladesh have been guiding us to go together, work together and solve all issues mutually,” said Moni, accompanied by Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar after laying the foundation stone of the India-Bangladesh Maitri Uddan in south Tripura.

She arrived in Tripura Wednesday.

“We cannot forget India and its people who also sacrificed their lives and property for the 1971 liberation war of Bangladesh,” Moni said amid applause from thousands of men, women and children.

Located near the international border, the India-Bangladesh Maitri Uddan is a park being built in southern Tripuras Chottakhola as a tribute to Indian soldiers and Bangladeshi freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

During the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war, a training camp of the Mukti Bahini of freedom fighters was set up in the bordering village where the remains of bunkers, trenches and graveyards can still be found, Tripura Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury said.

The Uddan is being developed by the Tripura government on a 20-hectare plot adjacent to the Trichna wildlife sanctuary and a 500-year-old mosque, bordering Bangladesh.

A museum exhibiting arms and ammunition, war materials, rare photographs and war literature would also be set up in the area, which has already turned into a memorial-cum-ecological conservation zone, about 130 km south of Agartala.

It would also have a statue of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was the architect of Bangladesh.

The building of this memorial park was a long cherished demand of the people of Tripura as they were actively involved in the 1971 liberation war by providing all-out support to freedom fighters and sheltered around 1.6 million people, which was larger than the total population of Tripura, Tripura Forest Minister Jitendra Chaudhury told IANS.

The memorial would help future generations know the history of liberation of Bangladesh and of bonds of the people of two friendly neighbours and of how they helped each other for the independence.

The commemorative park, which is to have a big tower from which parts of Noakhali and Feni districts of Bangladesh would be visible, would cost Rs.2.30 crore and would be funded by the state government.

There were 11 war fronts in Tripura in 1971 and Chottakhola was one of them. A large number of freedom fighters were trained in Chottakhola, from which they later sneaked into Bangladesh to fight the Pakistani soldiers, said Badal Choudhury, who did his primary education in what was then East Pakistan and is now Bangladesh.

Filed under: Diplomacy

will not be displayed