Vijay Diwas in Bangladesh: Dhaka posthumously honours 12 Indian soldiers for sacrificing their lives in 1971 war

Dhaka: Bangladesh on Sunday honoured 12 Indian war veterans as it celebrated the country's 'Victory Day', marking its emergence as an independent nation following the 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan.

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the nation to work together for the prosperity of the country as people celebrated the 47th anniversary of the day the nation won its freedom after nine months of bloodshed and struggle, bdnews24 reported.

The Bangladeshi government posthumously honoured 12 Indian Armed Forces personnel for sacrificing their lives during the 1971 India-Pakistan War. In his message to the country, President Hamid said: “There is no alternative to working together, irrespective of political party or philosophy, if we want to offer our people the advantages of the freedom earned by the sacrifice of millions of martyrs.

File image of Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina. Reuters

File image of Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina. Reuters

“I urge the people of the country to contribute more from what they have to propel the country towards prosperity and realising the spirit of the Liberation War,” he said. Hamid mentioned the upcoming election, expressing hope that the polls would ensure a victory for democracy. He also hoped that the people will elect honest, eligible and patriotic candidates to continue the development of the country.

In her Victory Day message, Prime Minister Hasina urged the people in the country to work together in the light of the spirit of the Liberation War and continue the democracy and development in Bangladesh. “Let us all pledge to engage ourselves in the welfare of the nation; let this be our oath on Victory Day in 2018. “Today, Bangladesh has become a global role model for development. It is one of the five countries in the world showing economic advancement and we have done 90 percent of it with our own funds,” Hasina said.

“The people have been receiving the advantage of this development at the grassroots level in the 10 years the Awami League government has been in power. Bangladesh is moving forward and it will continue to do so. The next generation will have a prosperous Bangladesh,” she said.

Hasina pledged to make the country poverty-free and attain middle-income country status by 2021, alongside a promise to achieve developed country status before 2041. She also greeted the freedom fighters and sent flowers and fruits to the war-wounded freedom fighters at the Martyred and War-wounded Freedom Fighters' Rehabilitation Centre (Muktijoddha Tower 1) in Dhaka's Mohammadpur area on Sunday as a mark of her good wishes for them, Dhaka Tribune reported.

The war in 1971 began after the sudden crackdown at midnight on March 25 that year in erstwhile East Pakistan by Pakistani troops and ended on 16 December as Pakistan conceded defeat and unconditionally surrendered in Dhaka to the allied forces comprising Bengali freedom fighters and the Indian Army. Officially three million people were killed during the nine-month-long war in one of the most heinous acts of genocide by Pakistani troops.

The Bangladesh government has decided to honour over 1,600 Indian Armed Forces personnel who laid down their lives in the eastern theatre during the 1971 Indo-Pak War. Vijay Diwas (victory day) is celebrated every year on this day to mark India's decisive win over Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh.

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Updated Date: Dec 17, 2018 11:39 AM

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