An emotional Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina on Thursday received an honorary doctorate from the Tripura Central University whose site was once a training camp for the soldiers of her country’s liberation.
Vice President Hamid Ansari handed over the degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) to Hasina who fondly recalled the helping hand Tripura had extended during 1971 Liberation War spearheaded by her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
In a voice choked with emotion, 64-year-old Hasina said her long cherished dream was fulfilled as she arrived in Tripura, ‘the pilgrimage of Bangladesh Liberation War”.
She was given the degree by the university in recognition of her ‘great contribution to the protection of multicultural democracy and peace’ in her country and in the sub-continent.
Tripura was the ‘war capital’ during the liberation war sheltering more than 15 lakh people from across the border.
“As we touched down at Agartala airport last evening, a flush of emotions overwhelmed me as I recalled the tremendous sacrifices during our glorious struggle for independence.”
Switching to Bengali, Hasina said, “I express my deep gratitude to the people of Tripura who gave us food, shelter and clothing and care when the people of our country were subject of inhuman and barbaric torture in the hands of Pakistani army and migrated to this land.”
“I was further amazed when I came to know that before this university was set up, this place was a training camp of the Bangladesh liberation soldiers”, she said.
“Our freedom fighters also received training and support on this side of the border and eventually fought with our Indian friends to the final surrender of the occupation forces and liberation of Bangladesh on December 16, 1971. How can we not remember with gratitude our friends in need in Tripura and India?”, she said in a choked voice.