AGARTALA, Dec 16 (IANS): Vijay Diwas was celebrated Sunday in Tripura to commemorate brave soldiers of the Indian Army who laid down their lives in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
The Instrument of Surrender was signed by the Eastern Command of the Pakistan Armed Forces on Dec 16, 1971, bringing the war for liberation of Bangladesh to an end.
A wreath laying ceremony was organised at the War Memorial in Lichu Bangan, near here, and in the capital city Agartala.
Tripura Governor D.Y. Patil and the state's Science and Technology Minister Joygobinda Debroy laid the wreaths in memory of the slain soldiers.
On the occasion, India's Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) officials and troopers exchanged sweets at various locations on the international border.
Discussions, cultural functions and a get-together of people from various walks of life were arranged as part of a day-long programme at the Bangladesh mission in Agartala.
According to historian and writer Bikach Chowdhury, Tripura had six to seven camps in four sectors from where the 'muktijoddhas' (freedom fighters) fought the Pakistani forces in the nine-month-long war in 1971 that led to the creation of Bangladesh, which was earlier East Pakistan.
"Over 1,600,000 Bangladeshis - a number larger than the state's then total population of 1,500,000 - had taken shelter in Tripura alone," he said.
During the Bangladesh Liberation War, 10 million men, women and children from then East Pakistan took shelter in the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya.
The Liberation War, as it is called in Bangladesh, later turned into a full-scale India-Pakistan war, leading to surrenders of thousands of Pakistani soldiers in December 1971.
India was the first country to recognise Bangladesh.