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Emotional Hasina lauds Indian role in 1971 war

Thursday January 12, 2012 07:56:27 PM, IANS

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Agartala: It was an emotional moment for Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina here Thursday when she recollected how India, especially Tripura, had helped her country during the 1971 war of liberation.

"Lakhs of people took shelter in Tripura and other (Indian) states. People of these states not only gave refuge to Bangladeshis but helped by giving training and other logistical support to the liberation war," said Hasina, who was here on a two-day official visit.

Deviating from her written text, she narrated how India, specially the central government and Tripura, extended all out help during the 1971 war which led to the emergence of Bangladesh.

Hasina said she was profoundly grateful to India and Indians.

"Through the nine months of our liberation war, the people of Tripura and India stood by our side by sharing their food, shelter and other basic necessities," an emotional Hasina said, and lauded the role of the late Indira Gandhi, who was the Indian prime minister then.

"After my father's (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) assassination along with 18 family members Aug 15, 1975, I and my sister Sheikh Rehana took shelter in Tripura for several months," Hasina said.

Speaking at the convocation ceremony of the Tripura Central University, where she received an honorary doctorate degree, and at a public gathering, the 64-year-old Bangladesh leader became emotional. She got a standing ovation and frequent rounds of applause at both places.

Over 60,000 men and women packed the Assam Rifles Ground here Thursday and were massed on both sides of the roads for a glimpse of the visiting prime minister.

Accompanied by an over 100-member delegation, including Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, several MPs and business leaders, Hasina was here on the visit that concluded Thursday.







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