Tripura observed 46th Vijay Diwas on Saturday to commemorate the sacrifices of Indian soldiers who died in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.The signing of the Instrument of Surrender by Pakistan forces' Eastern Command chief Lt Gen A.A.K. Niazi on December 16, 1971, in Dhaka brought the nine-month war for the liberation of Bangladesh to an end. This day is celebrated as Vijay Diwas annually.To commemorate the amazing victory, Colonel Shagun Bhatnagar, officiating Brigade Commander in Tripura, led homage at Shahid Smarak at Lichu Bagan on the outskirts of the city on the occasion. Army officers and soldiers of Agartala Military Station and ex-servicemen of Tripura took part in the commemorative event."The brave Indian Army, accompanied by the people of then East Pakistan, fought the war most effectively and protected the sovereignty of both present-day Bangladesh and India," said researcher and writer Manas Paul.He underscored the valiant sacrifice of officers and soldiers of the Indian Army, specially Lance Naik Albert Ekka (of Jharkhand) in the 1971 war.
India's Border Security Force and Border Guards Bangladesh officials exchanged greetings on the occasion.Discussions, cultural functions and a get-together of people from various walks of life were part of a day-long celebration by the Bangladesh Assistant High Commission office here.Visiting Bangladesh minister Mohammed Nasim hoisted the flag at the Bangladesh Assistant High Commission office here.A Defence release said the 1971 war comprised two major operations -- Operation Cactus Lily and Operations Nut Cracker -- and 57 Mountain Division was actively involved in both operations with fire power support from 57 Mountain Artillery Brigade."Both operations progressed from Agartala westwards towards Dhaka. The war finally culminated on December 16, 1971 with the unconditional surrender of 93,000 Pakistani soldiers. Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Arora, Maj Gen (Retd) Ian Cardozo, Lt Arun Khetrapal, Lance Naik Albert Ekka are a few heroes the war gave," the release added."Agartala city played an important role as the bordering city was the launch pad for the main offensive into Bangladesh. Local residents of Tripura played a huge role by providing the support to Indian Army soldiers."
The Tripura government has developed a gigantic memorial and park at the border village Chottakhola -- 132 km south of Tripura capital Agartala -- in memory of the Indian soldiers and Bangladeshi freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 Liberation War.Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on the occasion inaugurated the park and memorial, which was built on 20.20 hectares of land after an eight-year-long unrelenting efforts and at a cost of Rs 7 crore (over $1 million).Statues of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the founder of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, have also been installed in the memorial and the park, which was developed jointly by at least 10 departments of the Tripura government, with the Forest Department as the nodal agency.India was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as a sovereign nation.