Controversy over Bangla honour to Tripura CM

Press Trust of India Agartala | Updated on March 19, 2012 Published on March 19, 2012

A controversy has arisen in Tripura over the Bangladesh Government deciding to include Chief Minister, Mr Manik Sarkar, in the list of 129 foreign dignitaries who contributed to the country's Liberation War in 1971. The opposition Congress has dubbed it as a 'distortion of history'.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister, Ms Dipu Moni, on February 16, invited the Chief Minister as the National Committee of Bangladesh recommended his name to formally recognise his contribution to the Bangladesh Liberation War, a press statement issued by the Government said.

She invited Mr Sarkar to attend an official ceremony on March 27 as a friend of Bangladesh.

As the matter related to another country, it was referred to the Union Ministry of External Affairs for consideration and given necessary political clearance, the statement said.

Defending the Bangladesh Government's decision, a ruling CPI-M release said, the Student Federation of India, of which Mr Sarkar was State Secretary then, had played a ‘glorious role' during the Liberation War.

However, Leader of Opposition belonging to the Congress, Mr Ratan Lal Nath, said, “neither the Chief Minister nor his party played any role in the Bangladesh Liberation War. They remained indifferent to the movement as China, the ideological mentor of CPI-M, had opposed it.”

Stating that it would be “a distortion of history” if Mr Sarkar was recognised for his contribution, Mr Nath has written to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, seeking his intervention and to take up the issue with Bangladesh.

Published on March 19, 2012

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