SHILLONG, Nov 7 - Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today visited the jail in Dhaka where Khasi freedom fighter U Tirot Sing died in captivity and paid homage at a temporary memorial erected by the Bangladeshi authorities.
Sangma, along with his three Cabinet colleagues and other officials, paid homage to the freedom fighter and also visited the cell where the freedom fighter was lodged.
U Tirot Sing was the chief of Nongkhlaw kingdom, now a village in West Khasi Hills. He fought against the British for four years through guerilla tactics and was injured in one of the battles in the early 1800s.
The injured freedom fighter was hiding in a cave, but his whereabouts was compromised by a local chief and he was captured in 1833. He was then sent to Dhaka jail by the British where he died in captivity on July 17, 1835.
Sangma is the first Meghalaya Chief Minister to visit the jail where the freedom fighter lived in captivity for almost two years. According to officials, Sangma will request the Bangladeshi authorities to erect a memorial in honour of the freedom fighter.
Sangma also paid a visit to the memorial of father of the Bengali nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, popularly known as Bongobandhu.
Earlier, Sangma also met a business delegation from Bangladesh. He said Meghalaya and Bangladesh has been engaging in trade activities at individual level with little support from the Governments of the two countries.
�We want to give this trade, that is already taking place, a better and formal structure and facilitate wherever necessary. Our meeting with the commissioners is a good start. This will be the easiest way to start and carry forward the relationship,� Sangma said.
Sangma also met the chairman of Pran Group, Ahsan Khan Chowdury, and was given a presentation of the food and other products the company manufactures and supplies globally.
�Glad to learn about their products and impressed to see the kind of enterprise and the vision he (Chowdury) has and the work he has done,� Sangma said.
PTI adds: Conrad Sangma also called on Bangladesh Premier Shiekh Hasina on Thursday and discussed trade opportunities between the State and that country, a government official said.
Sangma is in Bangladesh to pursue expansion of trade and tourism to improve the economy of Meghalaya as it shares a 443 km-long border with that country but has a meagre .7 per cent share of the USD 10 billion trade that India has with it.
Sangma and Hasina during the hour-long meeting discussed at length business avenues between the state and the neighbouring country and on developing the trade ties with the North East region, the official said. He invited Bangladesh to participate in the North East Food Show to be held in Shillong between December 4 and 6.