Agartala: Twenty eminent citizens of Bangladesh have expressed their displeasure over the destruction of a memorial erected for the martyrs of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War in Agartala. They have requested the Indian government to restore the monument to its former glory.

According to them, the huge support of the people of India, and Tripura in particular, in the liberation war of 1971 is an integral part of the history of Bangladesh’s independence.

“The 40-ft-tall martyrs’ memorial at Post Office Chowmuhani in the centre of Agartala, the capital of Tripura, is one of the most important monuments to the common liberation aspirations and friendship of the people of India and Bangladesh,” a statement issued by the citizens said.

“We request the Indian authorities to restore the monument to its rightful place and to preserve the symbolic monuments of the relationship between the people of the two countries,” it added.

Meanwhile, Professor Manik Deb, chairman of the Bangladesh Liberation Committee of the Pradesh Congress, has demanded that the memorial be re-erected at Post Office Chowmuhani.

He said the martyrs’ pillar was erected in memory of the Indian Army personnel including the freedom fighters killed in the Bangladesh Liberation War and this place later became the history of a state.

According to him, the memory of this martyr should have been removed by holding a dignified ceremony and showing due respect. Instead, the present government demolished the martyrs’ memorial with utmost disrespect.

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The statement was signed by Bangladeshi writer and language activist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, fiction writer Hasan Azizul Haque, professor and essayist Anupam Sen, playwright Ramendu Majumder, freedom fighter, trustee, Liberation War Museum Dr. Sarwar Ali, Freedom Fighter and Actor Syed Hasan Imam, journalist Abed Khan, freedom fighter and actress Laila Hasan, fiction writer Selina Hossain, Professor Abdus Selim, freedom fighter Shahidullah Khan Badal, Bir Pratik Habibul Alam and writer- journalist Ekattarer Ghatak Dalal Shah, among others.

Earlier, the Army and Sainik board raised this issue in front of chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb to build the war memorial at a separate place in 2018. Following this, in November last year, almost five decades after the war in 1971, the Tripura government decided to construct the war memorial in memory of the soldiers who achieved martyrdom.

A tank and an artillery gun were shifted from Post Office Chowmuhani to Albert Ekka War memorial on a newly-constructed granite base.

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