SILCHAR: Indo-Pak war of 1971 is a watershed in the glorious history and heritage of India. The creation and Bangladesh as an independent democratic country was a story of the supreme sacrifice and highest sense of valour by the mighty Indian forces. It was quite in consonance with the century- old tradition of Ramayan and Mahabharat, the two classical epics of the country, said A Gopalkrishna, all India leader of Simanta Manch, at a simple and serene function organized in the border town of Karimganj on Monday to pay homage to the martyrs of 1971.
Indian forces after subduing Pakistan army and rajakars handed over the reins of Bangladesh to Sheikh Mujibur of Awami League as Prime Minister.
Significantly, 93 thousand Pakistani officers and soldiers surrendered before the Indian army who were pardoned and sent back home with honour. This demonstrated the magnanimity of our commanders and jawans.
Recalling the great and glorious moment, A Gopalkrishna said, "India could have established its authority in Bangladesh, but that was against its declared policy of peace and non violence."
On Tuesday, the Simanta Manch members present offered their profoundest tributes to Chaman Lal Sharma and others who laid down their lives to give freedom to Bangladeshis, a rare example in the whole world. Today the people of the border town can live in peace, pointed out Gopalkrishna. The people of Karimganj have brought alive the memories of 1971.
The family members of martyrs could not imagine that after 50 years their brave heroes would be given such honour. He said the life and deeds of martyrs have to be discussed at proper platforms for the youths to inspire them with sense of patriotism.
Minister of Fisheries, Excise and Forest Parimal Suklabaidya said, "We should recall the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny when 200 Indians-turned-British soldiers broke through the armoury of Chittagong and after looting arms and ammunitions proceeded towards Karimganj, chased by the British army. At Latu near Karimganj the first encounter took place in which Major Bing and his 26 soldiers were killed.
The 18 Indian soldiers were laid to rest at a memorial at Malegarh. Suklabaidya named some of them to pay his highest tributes to them. Noted educationist Ramendra Bhattacharya also highlighted some glorious moments of 1971. Patharkandi MLA Krishnendu Paul said that he felt proud of Karimganj, the holy land of martyrs. The widow of Major Chaman Lal Sharma was felicitated by Parimal Suklabaidya. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma who was to be present at the function could not do so due to his official engagement. His message on the occasion was read out.
Wreaths were placed at the martyrs' column. Members of martyr families, Deputy Commissioner, Mridul Kumar Yadav, SP Padmanath Barua, and BSF officers paid their homage. On this occasion a souvenir was released.
The Golden Jubilee year memorial function to remember and respect the martyrs of 1971 would be cherished for years to come.