New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual Summit meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Thursday and will kick off an important year in the bilateral ties between two neighbors.
Sources said there will be inauguration of Chilahati-Haldibari rail link and also release of a commemorative stamp on the illustritious Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
India and Bangladesh have been making efforts to enhance transport and connectivity. The leadership on both sides have been committed to reviving and operationalising the 6 pre-1965 rail links between India and Bangladesh.
"With the inauguration of the Haldibari-Chilahati rail link, 5 out of 6 rail links are currently operational. The other 4 operational rail links between India and Bangladesh connecting West Bengal with Bangladesh are Petrapole (India) - Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India) – Darshana (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India)-Rohanpur (Bangladesh) and Radhikapur (India)–Birol (Bangladesh)."
The Haldibari-Chilahati rail link was part of the Broad Gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri. However, the war of 1965 effectively cut off all the railway links. "To revive this erstwhile rail link, both sides have restored the link enhancing connectivity and people to people links on both sides," a source in the know of things said.
Haldibari-Chilahati route will enhance connectivity to Assam and West Bengal from Bangladesh. This rail link will enhance rail network accessibility and support the growth in bilateral trade and economic development of the region.
Passenger movement will also commence on the development of infrastructure on both sides.
The release of a commemorative stamp on founding father of Bangladesh Mujib is relevant as Bangladesh is commemorating the year 2020 as Mujib Borsho – the birth centenary of the father of the nation of Bangladesh.
Bangabandhu promoted close and friendly relations between India and Bangladesh. He called the people of India the best friends of the people of Bangladesh, sources pointed out.
Delivering his remarks during the commencement of Mujib Borsho on 17 March 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked that Bangabandhu was “one of the greatest personalities of the last century”; and that “his entire life is an inspiration for all”.
There will be a virtual Inauguration of Bangabandhu-Bapu Digital Exhibition.
Sources said Mahatma Gandhi and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman lived in different times and faced different opponents, but both leaders changed the destiny of their people for the better. To celebrate the life and legacies of these iconic leaders, both Prime Ministers will jointly inaugurate a Bangabandhu-Bapu Digital Exhibition. This exhibition will get displayed in New Delhi.
Subsequently, this digital exhibition would be displayed in different locations in Bangladesh, the United Nations and would finally culminate at Kolkata in early 2022.
As a living example of strong bond, on Monday evening, a group of over 50 Mukti jodhdhas (liberation warriors) arriver Kolkata for the Victory Day celebrations hosted by the Indian army.