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Programs organised to commemorate the Formation of 1st Bangladesh Government in Agartala

Agartala, April 8, 2017: A series of programs will be held in this Tripura capital April 10-11 to commemorate the formation of the first Bangladeshi government here 46 years ago, the organisers said on Saturday.

The event is being organised by the Assistant High Commission of Bangladesh in Agartala, the Dhaka and Agartala chapters of “Friends of Bangladesh” and the Agartala Press Club.

“In a meeting of the then parliamentarians, first Bangladesh government was formed in Agartala on April 10, 1971. To commemorate the day, a series of programmes would be held here,” said Mihir Deb, Agartala chapter President of Friends of Bangladesh, an NGO.

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Deb, a renowned academician, said intellectuals, Bangladeshi MPs, policy makers, former ministers, film makers, artists, performers and veterans of the Bangladesh liberation war will take part in the event.

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A seminar will also be held where Indian intellectuals, writers and historians will speak.

A drama would also be staged on April 11 by the Bangladeshi actors to show case the nine-month long independence war and its milieu.

Deb said that in opposition of the then Pakistani rulers, the Bangladesh government with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the first President and Tajuddin Ahmad as the first Prime Minister was covertly functioning from Mujibnagar, formerly known as Baidyanathtala, in Meherpur district of Bangladesh.

The actual capital of that government while in exile was in Calcutta, now Kolkata.

After Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched a massive guerilla operation against the then Pakistani rulers in March 1971, ‘Mukti Joddhas’ (freedom fighters) fought enemy forces that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

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The nine-month-long ‘Mukti Joddha’ (Liberation War) later turned into a full-scale India-Pakistan war, leading to the surrender of nearly 93,000 Pakistani soldiers in Dhaka on December 16, 1971.

India was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as a sovereign nation.

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Historian Bikach Chowdhury said Tripura had six to seven camps in four sectors from where the ‘Mukti Joddhas’ fought Pakistani forces.

“Over 1,600,000 Bangladeshis — a number larger than the state’s then total population of 1,500,000 — had taken shelter in Tripura alone,” he said.

During the war, 10 million men, women and children from then East Pakistan took shelter in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya. (IANS)

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