WREATH LAYING AT VIJAY SMARAK
A solemn wreath laying ceremony was organized on the 51st Anniversary of the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh at Fort William Kolkata. The sixty one member Bangladesh delegation including 29 Mukti Jodhas with family members, Lt Col Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir, the delegation senior and six serving officers of Bangladesh Army led by Maj Gen Mahbubur Rashid were also present.
As a mark of respect, wreaths were laid by Shri Vineet Kumar Goyal, IPS, Kolkata Police Commissioner, Maj Gen SS Kahlon, VSM, GOC, Bengal Sub Area, Lt Gen KK Repswal, SM, VSM, COS, HQ Eastern Command, Lt Gen ARK Reddy, PVSM, AVSM (Retd), Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, PVSM, AVSM, VM (Retd), Maj Gen Md Mahbubur Rashid, Military Delegation Leader, Bangladesh, Lt Col Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir Delegation Leader, Mukti Jodha Bangladesh. The chief guest Lt Gen RP Kalita, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, GOC-in-C, Eastern Command laid the final wreath which was timed with flower petal drop by Army Aviation helicopters.
On the occasion, Lt Gen RP Kalita, Eastern Army Commander conveyed his deepest gratitude to the fallen bravehearts and veterans of Mukti Jodhas and Indian Army whose sacrifice and valour resulted in the manifestation of desire of millions of people in the creation of a New Nation. He also highlighted that India was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as a separate and independent state on 06 Dec 1971. Since then, the relations between the two countries have been based on mutual respect and cooperation. The two Nations not only share a common ancient history and culture, but in contemporary times also maintain excellent bilateral relations which are built on the foundations of strong people to people contact and mutual respect for each other. As a testament to the friendship, both the countries have successfully settled land and maritime boundary demarcation, improved connectivity, maintained regular cultural exchanges and steadily increased the volume of trade and commerce. Due to the direct involvement of Eastern Command, as it was at the forefront of the 1971 War, Vijay Diwas occupies a place of pride in the history of the Command. They organised various events with the aim of commemorating the valour and sacrifices of Indian Armed Forces and the valiant Mukti Jodhas.
Later during interaction the Bangladesh delegation leader Maj Gen Md Mahbubur Rashid paid tribute to the soldiers of the Indian Army who made the supreme sacrifice. He hailed the contributions and support of the Indian people to the population in Bangladesh for their struggle for freedom from subjugation and tyranny of Pakistan.
The Indian Army’s Eastern Command lost 1478 soldiers and another 3495 wounded during these 14 days of Liberation War. It was indeed an emotional moment for the Indian Veterans and the Mukti Jodhas to be able to relive the moment of triumph of democracy and freedom over suppression and also remember the fallen brethren who fought alongside during those tumultuous days of the war.