The Tripura government is waiting for visit of a team from Bangladesh to trace graves of freedom
fighters died during war of liberation in 1971. The effort to find the graves of Bangladesh war heroes in the bordering state had begun in 2007 and was refreshed after an official level talk in July 2013.
“We are waiting for the Bangladesh team to visit Tripura. We were told that team would comprise of officials and war veterans”, West Tripura District Magistrate Kiran Gitte told The Hindu on Thursday.
He said Bangladesh has not yet announced constitution of the team adding the team would get best possible help from them. “We know some cemeteries including one at South Ramnagar in Agartala, but senior freedom fighters who were active in areas of responsibility in 1971 should help find the exact graves”, Mr. Gitte stated.
Kira Gitte was Sub Divisional Magistrate of Ambassa in remote Dhalai district when remains of Bangladesh war hero Hamidur Rahman were disintered from a graveyard on December 9, 2007. Mr. Rahman who died fighting Pakistani forces in the nearby Maulavi Bazar district of the then east Pakistan on October 28, 1971 was posthumously declared ‘Bir Srestra’ — highest gallantry award of Bangladesh.
His coffin was taken to Bangladesh and was reburied at in Dhaka with full state honours. The finding of the grave was possible due to successive visits of war veterans who fought out of the area.
Bangladesh believes that at least 2,000 freedom fighters buried at different locations in bordering states of India’s northeast. Tripura was the apex centre of 1971 liberation war owing to its 856 km-long border with Bangladesh and strategic location.
The state had given shelter to 16 lakh refugees from Bangladesh during its liberation struggle when its own population was less than 15 lakh.