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Bangladesh observes one-day state mourning in memory of its 'true friend' Pranab Mukherjee

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New Delhi, Sep 02: Bangladesh on Wednesday observed state mourning in honour of its "real friend" Pranab Mukherjee, recalling the former Indian president's "outstanding and unforgettable" contributions to the country's 1971 Liberation War and strengthening of bilateral relations.

Pranab Mukherjee

All government, semi-government, autonomous and private institutions and Bangladesh missions abroad kept the national flag at half-mast in observance of the mourning day.

Pranab Mukherjee died on Monday in New Delhi following a 21-day battle with multiple ailments. The former president was cremated with full state honours on Tuesday. The Bangladesh government on Tuesday announced that it will observe a one-day state mourning at the death of the country's "real friend".

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The government in a statement urged places of worship of different faiths to arrange special prayers for Mukherjee. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent a letter to her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, saying as a renowned scholar and statesman of India, and a highly esteemed leader of South Asia, Mukherjee commanded the respect and admiration of all.

She said 'Bharat Ratna' Mukherjee's tireless work for the welfare of the people of India will inspire the future generation of leaders not only in India but across countries in the region. Hasina called Mukherjee a "true friend" and said that "he was always been highly revered and loved by the people of Bangladesh" recalling his support and contribution in strengthening bilateral relations.

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In 2013, Bangladesh conferred the honour of 'Bangladesh Muktijuddho Sommanona' (Liberation War Honour) on Mukherjee for his valuable contribution to its 1971 Liberation War. Hasina also called Mukherjee a "true friend" of Bangladesh and a guardian-like figure to her family.

"The news of Mukherjee's demise deeply saddened her... she became emotional and nostalgic as she reminisced her many memories with him," state-run BSS news agency reported, quoting the premier's press secretary Ihsanul Karim.

Hasina said Mukherjee always extended her cooperation to her family while they were in exile in India after the assassination of her father and Bangladesh's founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975 along with most of his family members.

Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and premier Hasina earlier expressed sorrow over Mukherjee's demise, describing him as a "true friend" and recalling his "outstanding and unforgettable" contributions to the country's 1971 Liberation War.

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