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Bangladesh FM inaugurates war memorial site

A Correspondent
Chottakhola (South Tripura), November 11, 2010: Bangladesh foreign minister Dr Dipu Moni laid foundation stone of a memorial at Chottakhola, 120km south of Tripura state capital of Agartala, Thursday in remembrance of her country's 1971 War of Liberation. The minister who arrived in Tripura Wednesday on a two day flew with a couple of ministers in a chopper to the area in the morning to attend the historic occasion.  

“Though the entire state bears reminiscence of freedom struggle, it (Chottakhola) has special place as it was key centre for operations against the enemies”, a senior citizen of the locality told newsmen. He still remembers the days of struggle, refugee influx, numerous camps, bases of Muktti Joddhas (freedom fighters), their casualties in war and ugly noises of explosion and firing.  

Bangladesh foreign minister did not have to perform traditional ritual by placing a cemented brick, instead pulled a screen of a stone through pushing an electronic button from the stage. She and government ministers Badal Choudhury and Jitendra Choudhury addressed the huge crowd thronged in to witness visit of a foreign dignitary and recalled age old bondage underscoring importance of strengthening people to people contact  

'People in Chottakhola were first to take the initiative to establish a memorial of the 1971 liberation war on 20 hectares of land, comprising seven small hills and natural water bodies separating them, in the area,' state's industry and commerce minister Jitendra Choudhury told newsmen.  

A war monument, museum and a rich library will be established as parts of the memorial for which the Tripura government has approached the union government to allocate necessary fund. There is a plan to incorporate a nearby five-hundred-year-old mosque and Trishna Wildlife Sanctuary in the area of the memorial.