Remembering 1971, PM pays tribute to martyrs

RSTV Bureau

Modi-in-Bangladesh-1Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his Bangladesh visit by paying homage to the National Martyrs’ Memorial (Jatiyo Smriti Shoudho) in Dhaka. On a two-day visit to the neighbour nation, the PM paid tributes to the thousands who laid down their lives fighting the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 in which India had helped. Bangladesh, then known as East Pakistan, was mired with brutal assault and rampant human rights abuse by the Pakistan army.

“Beginning the visit by paying homage to the martyrs of the Liberation War of 1971,” the Prime Minister wrote on a micro-blogging site Twitter.

At his visit to the memorial PM Narendra Modi was accompanied by a number of senior Bangladesh ministers, including Finance Minister A M A Muhith, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and Agriculture Minister Moti Choudhury.

Continuing where he began in New Delhi on the World Environment Day on Friday, he also planted a sapling at the memorial premises and signed the visitor’s book there.

“Foundation Stone for Jatiyo Smriti Shoudho was laid by Bangabandhu himself. Design was chosen from various entries obtained in a competition,” he added in another tweet paying respect to the founding father of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rehman.

As part of the military ritual, the Bangladesh flag was hoisted and lowered to the half mast as the Indian premier offered wreaths at the altar. The army bugle played the last post as PM Modi stood in solemn silence in front of the memorial for some time.

After visiting the war museum, Prime Minister said “Memorial gives impression of rising from the ashes like a phoenix. It symbolises courage & determination of people”.

The monument is composed of seven isosceles triangular pyramid shaped structures, with the middle one being the tallest at 150 feet.

Apart from visiting National Martyrs’ Memorial, the Prime Minister also visited the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum dedicated to the founder of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In this museum, one can see a collection of his personal things.

The Prime Minister arrived in Bangladesh on Saturday morning. Tipped as a crucial visit, PM Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina will hold discussions on several important issues.

(With inputs from PTI)