Mr. Modi was received by Prime Minister Hasina at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport upon his arrival.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 at Dhaka’s National Martyrs Memorial and said the sacrifice of the participants in the historic war will remain a lasting legacy in South Asia. Mr Modi reached the memorial soon after landing at Dhaka’s Shahjalal International Airport where he was received by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her council of ministers.
“I pray that the eternal flame at Savar, remains a lasting reminder of the noble victory of truth and courage over deceit and oppression,” wrote Prime Minister Modi at the Visitor’s Book at the memorial which is located 35 km away from Dhaka. The Indian leader also planted an ‘Arjun’ sapling at the memorial grounds which contain the unmarked graves of the martyrs.
Beginning his interactions, Prime Minister Modi met with the leaders of the ruling alliance in Dhaka and interacted with a delegation of the Muktijoddhas or former guerrillas who fought in the war of 1971. He also met with the leaders of the religious minorities of Bangladesh.
In the afternoon, the visiting leader will participate at the National Day Programme alongside Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This will be followed by the inauguration of Bapu Bangabandhu Digital Video Exhibition. In the evening, the two leaders will be the chief guests at a concert by classical musician Ajoy Chakraborty.
Earlier, Mr. Modi arrived in Dhaka on a two-day visit to Bangladesh during which he will attend the celebrations of the golden jubilee of the country’s independence, the birth centenary of ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and hold talks with his counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
Mr. Modi, who is visiting Bangladesh on his first trip to a foreign country since the outbreak of the coronavirus, was received by Prime Minister Hasina at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport upon his arrival.
The Prime Minister travelled to Dhaka on the newly-inducted custom-made Boeing 777 aircraft. He wore his mask before alighting from the aircraft and exchanging pleasantries with Ms. Hasina. He received a guard of honour at the airport.
PM uses new VVIP aircraft for 1st time
Mr. Modi on Friday went from Delhi to Dhaka on a new custom-made VVIP aircraft, using it for the first time on a foreign journey.
The B777 aircraft, which has registration number VT-ALW, was delivered by Boeing to the Indian government in October last year. The aircraft, which has call sign AI1 or Air India One, departed from Delhi around 8 am and landed at the Dhaka airport around 10.30 a.m. on Friday, government officials said.
Another custom-made B777 aircraft, with registration number VT-ALV, was also delivered by the American aircraft giant to the Indian government in October last year. Both custom-made planes are to fly only president, vice president and prime minister of the country.
These two aircraft were part of Air India’s commercial fleet for a few months in 2018 before they were sent back to Boeing for retrofitting for VVIP travel. The B777 planes have state-of-the-art missile defence systems called Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures and Self-Protection Suites.
(With inputs from PTI)