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Day 1 in Dhaka, Modi pays homage to martyrs

By Anisur Rahman
Last updated on: March 26, 2021 21:32 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday visited the National Martyr's memorial at Savar in Dhaka and paid homage to those who sacrificed their lives in the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence against Pakistan.


IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays tribute at at the National Martyr's Memorial in Savar, on the occasion of 50th Independence Day of Bangladesh, in Dhaka, on Friday. Photograph: Kind courtesy @narendramodi/Twitter

'I pay my heartfelt tribute to the patriotic martyrs of Bangladesh whose glorious sacrifices enabled the birth of this great Nation. May every visitor to this revered ground honour the sacred memory of the millions who were slain but not silenced.

'Their valour will continue to inspire future generations to fight injustice and defend the cause of righteousness,' Modi wrote in the visitor's book at the memorial.

IMAGE: Modi's comments on the visitors book at the National Martyr's Memorial in Savar. Photograph: Courtesy @MEAIndia/Twitter

'On behalf of the people of India, I pray that the eternal flame at Savar remains a lasting reminder of the noble victory of truth and courage over deceit and oppression,' he wrote.

IMAGE: Modi pays homage at the National Martyr's memorial at Savar. Photograph: Kind courtesy @narendramodi/Twitter

Army bugles played the Last Post as the Bangladesh national flag was hoisted at half mast in a ceremonial manner as Prime Minister Modi stood in solemn silence in front of the memorial as a mark of respect to the martyrs after placing a wreath.

IMAGE: Modi signs the visitors' book at the National Martyr's Memorial. Photograph: Courtesy @MEAIndia/Twitter

Designed by Syed Mainul Hossain, the memorial at Savar, about 35 km north-west of Dhaka, comprises seven pairs of triangular-shaped walls -- each representing a significant chapter in Bangladesh's history, including the 1952 'Bhasha Andolan' (Language Movement) -- through which Bangladesh became an independent nation from Pakistan.

IMAGE: Modi plants Arjuna Tree sapling at Savar. Photograph: Courtesy @MEAIndia/Twitter

On reaching the memorial, Modi planted a sapling of the Arjuna tree "to commemorate sacrifices of the patriotic martyrs of Bangladesh", the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) tweeted.

'This sapling has been planted as a mark of respect for the valorous martyrs of Bangladesh,' the Prime Minister's Office tweeted.

Photograph: Courtesy @PMOIndia/Twitter

In another tweet, the PMO said, in the same complex, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had also planted a sapling during his Bangladesh visit in 1999.

Vajpayee had planted a sapling of Cape jasmine that time.

IMAGE: Modi meets 'Muktijodhas', the liberation war fighters of Bangladesh, in Dhaka. Photograph: ANI

Later, Modi met political leaders from the ruling Grand Alliance.

'Engaging the Bangladeshi political leadership across the spectrum! PM @narendramodi meets political leaders from 14 Party Alliance along with convener. Discussions centred on diverse issues of our bilateral relations,' the MEA tweeted, sharing a picture of the meeting.

IMAGE: Modi with political leaders from 14-party alliance and their convener in Dhaka. Photograph: Courtesy @MEAIndia/Twitter

Modi arrived in Dhaka on a two-day visit during which he will attend the celebrations of the golden jubilee of the country's independence, the birth centenary of 'Bangabandhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and hold talks with his counterpart Sheikh Hasina.

IMAGE: Modi being received by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, on his arrival at the Dhaka Airport. Photograph: Press Information Bureau of India

Modi, who is visiting Bangladesh on his first trip to a foreign country since the outbreak of the coronavirus, was received by Prime Minister Hasina at Dhaka's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport upon his arrival.

IMAGE: Modi inspects the Guard of Honour at Dhaka Airport. Photograph: Press Information Bureau of India

A salute of 19 guns and Guard of honour were accorded to Prime Minister Modi at the airport.

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Anisur Rahman
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