Chottakhola (Tripura), Dec 16: Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Saturday urged the Bangladesh government to allow India’s northeastern States to use the Chittagong port for the development of the landlocked region.
Tripura CM urges B'desh to open Chittagong port for NE
“Sidelining the pending unresolved issues between the two countries, Bangladesh must allow the northeastern states of India to use the Chittagong intertiol seaport to carry goods, foodgrains, transport fuel, essentials and other items to and from northeastern states and rest of the world,” he said.
Without referring to the unresolved Teesta water sharing and trade related issues, he asked the Bangladesh government not to mix up the issues of northeastern States with the other unsettled issues between the two neighbours.
The chief minister was speaking at this border village, 132 km south of state capital Agartala, before a huge gathering assembled in connection with the opening of a “gigantic memorial and park” built in memory of the Indian soldiers and Bangladeshi freedom fighters, who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 Liberation War.
He said that for the economic development of India’s northeastern states, rail, road, air, water and telecommunication connectivity between India and Bangladesh must be further strengthened. Tripura Health and PWD Minister Badal Choudhury addressing the function said that India wants more closeness with its best neighbour Bangladesh. “During the nine-month long Liberation War, Tripura played a crucial role as the state’s location was strategically vital. Dhaka is just 135 km from Tripura and many important cities are close to Tripura borders,” said Choudhury, who also took part in providing relief to the then Bangladeshi refugees.
Lok Sabha MP Jitendra Choudhury, who played a significant role in developing the park and memorial at Chottakhola as then forest Minister, said the park would not be just a tourist spot, it would be a milestone for the future generations to know the details of a great victory of a bloody war that led to creation of a sovereign country Bangladesh. Bangladeshi intellectuals, freedom fighters, artists and academicians took part in the memorial and park iuguration ceremony. On November 11, 2010, then Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni laid the foundation stone of the “Bharat-Bangla Maitri Uddan” (India-Bangladesh Friendship Park).
Veteran Communist Leader and Legislator Sudhan Das told IANS that a war museum, surrounded by hillocks, verdant valleys, lakes, plants, sculptures, graveyards of Bangladeshi freedom fighters have turned the place not just into a park or memorial but much more than that. Statues of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Bangladesh Founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman have also been erected in the park, which was developed jointly by at least 10 departments of the Tripura Government with the Forest Department as the nodal agency.