Bangladesh to honour 226 Indians for support in 1971 'Liberation War'

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New Delhi, Dec.17 (ANI): Bangladesh will honour 226 Indians for their crucial support during the country's 1971 'Liberation War', as it marks the 40th Victory Day anniversary next year.

Bangladesh will honour some 500 foreigners, which includes 226 Indians.

"The cabinet approved the proposal to accord reception to distinguished foreign nationals and organisations for their extraordinary contribution in our Liberation War," said Abul Kalam Azad, the press secretary of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He said that former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi would be conferred with a special honour for her "immense" support for Bangladesh's independence.

On Monday, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, who heads the committee, said: "Though we have already prepared a draft of the awardees but at this moment it is difficult to say what could be the size of the list."

The list included 226 Indians and 40 Pakistanis, said

Mentioning that they were holding meetings for the past two days to prepare credentials, a member of the committee on condition of anonymity said the list included 226 Indians and 40 Pakistanis.

"India backed us crucially during the Liberation War, but we also want to acknowledge the role of Pakistanis who defied the Pakistani junta risking their safety to support us," he said.

In the list of eminent people to be honoured by Bangladesh includes the then Indian Army chief, Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw and the Army Commander in India's eastern theatre, Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora.

The honour list includes eight Russians, 35 Britons, two Irishmen, five Australians, three Dutchmen, three Argentinians, eight Swiss, two Germans, 13 Frenchmen, three Butanese, 13 Japanese, two Sri Lankans and 15 Nepalese, a committee member said.

Among the living Indians to be honoured, the list includes former Indian Prime Minister I.K. Gujral, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar and painter M.F. Hussain.

Other Indian recipients include former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, former defence minister Krishna Menon, former Congress leader Sachindra Lal Singha, diplomats D.P. Dhar, P.N. Dhar, film maker Satyajit Ray, singer Manna Dey, artist Bishnu Dey and singer Mohammad Rafi.

Those honoured will receive a 50 gram gold crest and a honourary citizenship of Bangladesh. (ANI)

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