New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) For the first time ever, a 122-member strong contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces will participate in the historic Republic Day celebrations. The contingent will march on Rajpath alongside their Indian counterparts.
Both countries are celebrating the completion of 50 years of the establishment of their diplomatic ties, this year.
Official sources told IANS that the contingent will be led by contingent commander Lt. Col. Abu Mohammed Shahnoor Shawon and his deputies Lieutenant Farhan Ishraq and Flight Lieutenant Sibat Rahman. The contingent comprises soldiers of the Bangladesh Army, sailors of the Bangladesh Navy and air warriors of the Bangladesh Air Force.
The majority of the soldiers in this contingent hail from the most distinguished units of the Bangladesh Army comprising 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 and 11 East Bengal Regiment and 1, 2 and 3 Field Artillery Regiment.
These units have the distinct honour of fighting and winning the 1971 Liberation War. This Bangladesh contingent carries with them the legacy of legendary Muktijoddhas of Bangladesh, their fore-fathers who fought against oppression, mass atrocities by tyrannical forces and for the freedom of Bangladesh, sources said.
The contingent also has members of the Bangladesh Navy and Air force who had contributed to the liberation of Bangladesh. Sources said Operation Jackpot and Kilo flight of the Bangladesh Navy and Air-force respectively was a demonstration of their resolve, courage and determination to fight against oppression.
“The valiant Mukti Bahini and the Indian forces fought side by side against the enemy and secured victory. The blood of Mukti Bahini and Indian soldiers mingled with the soil and water of Bangladesh. This is a bond like no other; it is unparalleled in the annals of history. Our history is resplendent with stories of courage and eternal scarifice of the Muktijoddhas and the Indian soldiers for a noble and just cause,” a source said.
Bangladesh Armed Forces is considered a disciplined and professional force. Growing numbers of women are joining the forces to serve the country, and like India Armed Forces, the Bangladesh Armed Forces have also contributed to the UN peacekeeping operations across the world.
This year India and Bangladesh celebrate 50 years of the establishment of their ties, and Bangladesh celebrates 50 years of its Independence. Both sides have agreed to hold commemorative events in several other countries and also jointly organise events throughout the year. The fraternal ties that exist between the two countries make the relations transcend even a strategic partnership, sources said.