Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu has described Indian unequivocal support and assistance in Bangladesh’s War of Liberation as an “unprecedented example” in the world history.
“India had given shelter to nearly one crore Bangladeshi refugees on their soil during the War of Liberation along with providing economic, military and diplomatic assistance, while about 1,500 Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives in the war,” he said.
Amu, also a senior Awami League leader, made the comments while inaugurating “Bangladesh Victory Festival” in Kolkata, the capital of Indian state of West Bengal, on Thursday.
Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata has arranged the five-day festival at Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on the occasion of the 46th Victory Day.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was present at the opening function as the special guest, a press release said here today.
The Bangladesh industries minister said India helped Bangladesh to win the war by providing training and arms and ammunition side by side with sheltering the Bangladeshi refugees.
“At that time, India had imparted training to nearly one lakh freedom fighters at 69 base camps and 100 sub-base camps,” he said.
Paying tributes to former Indian premier Indira Gandhi, the industries minister said she made the highest contribution to bring world opinion in favour of Bangladesh during the war.
“She (Indira Gandhi) had created a positive mindset among the people and governments of different countries in favour of Bangladesh’s independence by conducting a special diplomatic campaign,” Amu said.
The industries minister also recalled with gratitude the contribution of West Bengal people during the Liberation War, saying the Bangalees of this Indian state extended their helping hand to Bangladeshi people at that time.
In the five-day festival, arrangements have been made for displaying and selling the traditional Bangladeshi products. These include jamdani and Tangail sarees, Rajshai silk, handicrafts, jute, ceramic and melamine products.
Besides, “kacchi biriyani”, “bhuna khichuri” and various types of cakes and sweetmeats of Bangladesh have been placed in the festival.
Renowned artistes of Bangladesh and West Bengal will perform at the cultural function there, while arrangement has been made for screening films on the great Liberation War, the release said.