Foundation stone unveiled for 1st memorial honouring Indian martyrs in Bangladesh

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Dhaka, Mar 27 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Saturday jointly unveiled the foundation stone for the first memorial exclusively honouring Indian martyrs of the 1971 Liberation War in this country.

Prime Minister Modi, who visited Bangladesh on his first trip to a foreign country since the outbreak of the coronavirus, also announced that India will donate military equipment used by the Indian Armed Forces in the Liberation War for museums in Bangladesh.

Modi and Hasina jointly laid the foundation stone for the memorial which exclusively honours the Indian martyrs of the 1971 Liberation War.

The memorial, which is the first in Bangladesh honouring the Indian martyrs, will be built at Ashuganj town.

The two friendly neighbours also decided to celebrate December 6 - the day India recognised Bangladesh as an independent nation - as 'Maitree Diwas'.

India was one of the first countries to recognise Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Modi announced that to commemorate the 50th year of Bangladesh’s liberation and 75th year of India’s independence, a ‘Best of India, Best of Bangladesh Exhibition’ and a business meet will be held.

Addressing Bangladesh's 50th independence anniversary on Friday, Modi recalled the role played by the Indian Army in the freedom war and said that the blood of those who fought for their liberation and the blood of Indian soldiers are flowing together and this blood will form such a relationship that will not break down under any type of pressure.

'I salute the brave soldiers of the Indian Army who stood with the brothers and sisters of Bangladesh in Muktijuddo… those who gave their blood in Muktijuddo, sacrificed themselves and played a very big role in realising the dream of independent Bangladesh,' said Modi.

The 1971 war broke out after the sudden crackdown at midnight past on March 25, 1971 in the erstwhile East Pakistan by the Pakistani troops and ended on December 16.

The same year Pakistan conceded defeat and unconditionally surrendered in Dhaka to the allied forces comprising the freedom fighters and the Indian soldiers. Officially three million people were killed during the nine-month long war. PTI CPS ZH CPS