High alert in Bangladesh ahead of Independence Day

March 25th, 2008 - 11:02 pm ICT by admin  

Dhaka, March 25 (DPA) Thousands of security forces were mobilized in the bustling capital Dhaka as a high alert was sounded across Bangladesh ahead of the Independence Day celebrations. A military parade was due to take place, with army, navy and air force contingents putting on an hour-long display of hardware, brand new Russian-built MiG fighters and a South Korean customized frigate.

For the first time in 37 years a military delegation from India has been invited to witness the parade to take place on the abandoned runway of an old airport near the army garrisons in Dhaka.

The Indian military joined the war on behalf of the Bangladeshi freedom fighters playing a crucial role in the last days of the conflict with Pakistan’s western wing and military dictatorship.

The March 26 celebrations mark the separation of Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan, from Islamabad.

Security has been beefed up also in the southern port city of Chittagong after threats were given out by suspected Islamic militants on disrupting the celebrations.

The militants are demanding Islamic rule in the Muslim-majority Bangladesh.

Authorities said about 8,000 security men have been specially deployed for the anniversary.

Paramount leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared independence and called on Bangladeshis to wage a war to drive out the occupying Pakistanis in March 1991.

The allied armies of Bangladesh and India forced the then Pakistani military junta to surrender Dec 16, 1971 after nine months of a bitter war which left three million Bangladeshis, mostly civilians, dead.

More than 1,000 Indian soldiers were also killed. Nearly ten million Bangladeshis fled to India to escape genocide carried out by the Pakistani military during the year ahead of the liberation war.

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