Bangladesh National Day celebrated in Tripura


Agartala : Bangladesh’s 39th anniversary of Independence was Friday marked in Tripura’s capital Agartala as part of first-ever celebrations in Indian cities and 58 other countries.

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“For the first time in 40 years, the Bangladesh government has decided to hold cultural programmes, seminars and other events to observe the Independence Day in 59 countries where the country’s diplomatic missions exist,” a Bangladesh government official told IANS requesting anonymity.

Besides Tripura, these programmes are being held in New Delhi and Kolkata. Tripura is the only state in northeast where Bangladesh has a diplomatic mission, he said.

“Indian leaders, intellectuals, cultural activists, journalists and people from all walks of life are taking part in these programmes,” he said.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar was in Dhaka Friday to attend Bangladesh’s Independence and National Day celebrations.

“Bangladesh government has invited the chief minister to attend the functions as a special guest,” a senior state government official here told IANS.

“It is for the first time in 40 years that a chief minister from the northeast has been invited to attend Bangladesh’s Independence and National Day celebrations as Dhaka wants to increase trade with the eight northeastern states,” the official said.

“Sarkar during his two-day stay in Dhaka will meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, leaders of different political parties and business leaders,” the official said.

Newspapers in Tripura Friday published special supplements on the occasion of Bangladesh’s independence and national day.

Renowned political analyst and columnist Gautam Das recalled Bangladesh’s liberation war and said: “During the war, over one crore (10 million) Bangladeshi nationals took shelter in India.”

“Over 1,600,000 Bangladeshi citizens had taken shelter in Tripura,” said Das.

According to Das, veteran communist leader Jyoti Basu had played a key role in providing relief to Bangladeshi refugees.

According to historian and writer Bikash Chowdhury, during the Bangladesh liberation war, Tripura had a sector under which there were six to seven camps from where the “Muktijoddha” (freedom fighters) had fought the Pakistani forces.