JAIPUR: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina offered supplications at the dargah of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer in Rajasthan on Wednesday, last day of her visit to India, and prayed for progress and prosperity of her country. A 17-member delegation accompanied her to the 13th century shrine.
Ms. Hasina, her son Wajid Joy, sister Sheikh Rehana, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, and High Commissioner to India Tariq Kareem laid a “chadar” at the mausoleum of the Sufi saint and performed “ziarat” with the help of a hereditary “khadim” (worker), Kamaluddin Chishti, amid tight security.
Ms. Hasina spent about 50 minutes at the dargah and gifted Rs.1.50 lakh to the shrine.
As part of security arrangements, the main market outside the dargah was closed and windows of houses and hotels facing the shrine were not allowed to be opened.
Security personnel and commandos were deployed on the roof-tops of adjacent buildings.
The Anjuman Committee of Khadims and the centrally-appointed Dargah Committee welcomed Ms. Hasina and presented her with a shawl, sword, sweetmeat and “supasnama” (letter of felicitation).
The dargah, dedicated to the Sufi saint popularly known as Khwaja Gharib Nawaz, is an important pilgrimage centre. Lakhs of people belonging to various faiths visit the shrine, especially during the ‘Urs’ (death anniversary of the Khwaja) every year.
Earlier, Ms. Hasina reached the Sanganer airport by a special aircraft of the Indian Airlines with an entourage of 100. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot received her at the airport, from where delegation left for Ajmer in two Indian Air Force helicopters. Other members of the delegation stayed in Jaipur to visiting places of tourist interest.
This was Ms. Hasina’s first State visit to India since she became Prime Minister for the second term a year ago. She boarded a special Biman Bangladesh aircraft to leave for Dhaka after returning from Ajmer to Jaipur.
Mr. Gehlot, who saw Ms. Hasina off at the airport, congratulated her for being awarded the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development in New Delhi on Tuesday. He also shared with her memories of his visit to the refugee camps in Dhaka during the 1971 war for Bangladesh’s liberation.