President Ram Nath Kovind was accorded a red carpet welcome, a 21-gun salute, and a Guard of Honour. He later paid homage at the National Martyrs' Memorial in Dhaka.
New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Dhaka on Thursday (December 15) to participate in the special celebrations of Mujib Shato Borsho-100 years of Mujib-and the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh's Liberation.
"A grand beginning," tweeted MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi. In a special gesture, he said President of Bangladesh Md. Abdul Hamid and First Lady Mrs Rashida Hamid welcomed President Kovind and First Lady Smt. Savita Kovind at the airport.
Meanwhile, having learnt the sad demise of Gp. Capt. Varun Singh, who was grievously injured at December 8 copter crash, President Kovind, in a tweet, said, "Sad to learn that Group Captain Varun Singh breathed his last after putting up a valiant fight for life. Though badly injured in the chopper crash, he displayed the soldierly spirit of valour and indomitable courage. The nation is grateful to him. My condolences to his family."
President was accorded a red carpet welcome, a 21-gun salute, and a Guard of Honour. Briefing reporters, Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla said on Wednesday that President's visit is significant in more ways than one. President paid homage at the National Martyrs' Memorial in Dhaka.
"The Pakistani army in his genocidal campaign during the nine-month struggle for liberation, killed three million people and committed horrific atrocities and the memorial honours those who died and suffered during this 1971 period," the Foreign Secretary said.
The President's official agenda also includes visiting the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum to pay respect to the memory of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation of Bangladesh.
In another tweet, MEA spokesman said, "May the spirit of those who sacrificed their lives to realise the ideals of the Liberation War continue to guide our thoughts and actions." The MEA has also dubbed it a "celebratory visit" as the celebrations are linked to the 50th Victory Day of Bangladesh.
This is President Kovind's first visit abroad since the pandemic. Thus, it reflects the high priority attached to India-Bangladesh ties and New Delhi's Neighborhood First policy.
Bangladesh inviting President of India to be the guest of honour on this occasion to jointly commemorate this event at which he is the only foreign dignitary has a special significance, the Foreign Secretary has said. PM Sheikh Hasina will also call on the President during his stay in Dhaka, Bangladesh.