Bangladesh keen to honour Indian soldiers killed in 1971

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New Delhi, April 12 : Bangladesh has requested India for the names of around “8,000 Indian soldiers” killed while fighting Pakistani forces in the 1971 war of liberation so it could honour them, the country’s visiting minister Hasanul Haq Inu said here Friday.

Inu, the information and broadcasting minister, at a media interaction said he has requested his Indian counterpart Manish Tewari to find out the names and details of the Indian soldiers killed so that Bangladesh could acknowledge their contribution with a certificate of honour.

“We want to acknowledge the contribution of the 8,000 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives for the sake of our liberation,” he said.

He said the Sheikh Hasina government wanted to send to the families of the Indian soldiers a certificate of honour.

Inu, who was closely involved in the 1971 war along with Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, had said at the Jamia Millia Islamia Thursday: “The 8,000 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives for the liberation struggle of Bangladesh have almost been forgotten…I don’t want to forget.”

Bangladesh is also examining the possibility of jointly making a film with India on the liberation war, said the minister. He discussed the proposal during his meeting with Tewari on Thursday.

“This will need extensive research. A panel of experts can be formed in India and Bangladesh, who would sit together to deliberate over how to make the film,” Inu said.

At a ceremony in Dhaka in March, Bangladesh posthumously honoured Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora and former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu among other Indians for their contribution to the 1971 war.

Aurora was the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command and had accepted the surrender of 95,000 Pakistani soldiers from Pakistani commander Lt. Gen. A.A.K. Niazi at a historic ceremony in Dhaka on Dec 16, 1971.

Bangladesh’s highest honour was posthumously accorded on late prime minister Indira Gandhi on July 25 last year.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee was also awarded during his visit to Dhaka in early March for his contribution to the liberation war.—IANS.

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