Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 8 march: Two Indian Naval ships — INS Kulish and INS Sumedha — will visit Mongla port from today to March 10 to celebrate the historic occasions of Mujib Borsho and 50 Years of Liberation War.
The visit is especially significant as this is the first visit by Indian Naval ships to Mongla, according to a press release of Indian High Commission.
The last time it happened was 50 years ago when on Dec 9 and 10, 1971, two gunboats — Padma and Palash jointly manned by Indian Navy and Mukti Bahini personnel, in a covert operation — sailed up the Pashur river attacking various Pakistani installations at the port, the press release said.
Other than the two ships, a senior officer from Indian Navy — Cmde Mahadevu Goverdhan Raju, NM, Naval Officer-in-Charge, Andhra Pradesh — is embarked onboard INS Sumedha, an indigenously built offshore patrol vessel.
The second ship, INS Kulish is also indigenously built for anti-surface warfare operations. The ship is commanded by Cdr Sanjeev Agnihotri, the press release said.
During the visit, the senior officers from the Indian side will be paying homage to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by laying wreaths at his mausoleum at Tungipara, it said.
They will also lay wreaths at the grave of Bir Shrestha Ruhul Amin who sacrificed his life while fighting onboard the gunboat Palash at Mongla on Dec 10, 1971.
The Indian ships will also honour Bangladesh Navy veterans of Liberation War, during onboard reception and gift Bangladesh Navy items of historical value for displaying at the Armed Forces Museum, the Indian High Commission said in its press release.
There will also be professional discussions with Bangladesh Navy and courtesy calls on senior officers at Mongla and Khulna.
Both navies will also have friendly sports fixtures and visits to each other’s ships. While departing on March 10, both navies will conduct a joint passage exercise.