Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt paid tributes to Indian Soldiers who laid down their lives during the War of Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, at a ceremony organised by Bangladesh High Commission on 26 October, 2023 in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, he said, “We all have gathered here for paying solemn tributes to our soldiers whose contributions in shaping the history of India and Bangladesh are the foundation of the "Bharat-Bangladesh Maitree". "Maitree, Bondhutva, Friendship" - these are the words defining the fraternal ties between the people of India and Bangladesh. They define an irreversible relationship, firmly rooted in the close people-to-people and cultural ties, inspired by the valour and sacrifice of the Mukti Jodhas of the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.
Terming the Bangladesh's struggle for independence as one of the greatest movements in the contemporary history, Raksha Rajya Mantri said that the ideals of the Liberation War of Bangladesh laid the foundation stone of Indo-Bangladesh ties which must be upheld, cherished and passed on to the younger generations. During the Bangladesh War, Indian Army fought along with Mukti Jodhas of Bangladesh for a noble cause. For many years, these Mukti Jodhas acted as a bridge between the two countries, he added.
Raksha Rajya Mantri highlighted the great strides made between India and Bangladesh in the areas of trade and commerce, connectivity, security, cultural cooperation, people-to-people links, training and capacity building, and environment conservation. “We are working together to revive rail, road and waterways that traditionally linked the people and economies on both sides and also establishing new ones. Several developmental projects with Indian assistance have been completed and some more will be completed soon, he said.
Elaborating upon the defence relations between India and Bangladesh, Raksha Rajya Mantri said, “ India and Bangladesh have a robust cooperation across all the domains including cooperation between Armed Forces, training, scholarship and capacity building. Our two countries have enormous potential and opportunities to be tapped in the areas of strengthening exchanges and utilizing avenues of cooperation between the defence forces on both sides. I am glad to note that the utilization of Defence LoC of USD 500 million extended by the Government of India to the Government of Bangladesh has also moved forward.”
Raksha Rajya Mantri thanked the Bangladesh High Commission for organising the event and congratulated the students receiving the “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Student Scholarship’. The students were descendants of Martyrs of Bangladesh war.
Shri AKM Mozammel Haque, Minister of Liberation War Affairs of Bangladesh, Shri Md Mustafizur Rahman, High Commissioner of Bangladesh, families and descendants of Indian and Bangladeshi Soldiers and students were present on the occasion.