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
"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.