Kolkata, April 3 (IANS) A 500-km cycling expedition undertaken by 30 armymen from India and Bangladesh to commemorate the 47th Independence Day of the neighbouring country was flagged-in by Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi, General Officer Commanding in Chief of Eastern Command, here on Monday.
The expedition, flagged-off on March 22 by Lieutenant General A.S. Bedi, GOC of Gajraj Corps in Agartala, entered Bangladesh through Sonamura crossing on India-Bangladesh border near Agartala and traversed through Comilla, Dhaka, Faridpur and Jessore and entered India from the Benapole/Petropole crossing.
In Bangladesh, the cyclists visited the battlefields associated with the liberation war, including Gangasagar and Garibpur — which was the first liberated area of Bangladesh — and also Azmatpur that was used as a base during the 1971 war with Pakistan.
Besides, the expedition also touched, Bishaykhali, Saduhati, Chowgachha, Shyamganj, Jenidah, and Shiromoni.
In the Indian segment, the team visited the Lichubagan War Memorial and Chotokhola and Melagar in Tripura which served as training bases for Mukti Bahini and Hardaspur Border Out Post in West Bengal.
The joint team also went to the Mynamati War Cemetery where 737 Indian and British soldiers sacrificed their lives during the Burma campaign and Field Marshal ‘Bill’ Slim’s command post in Comilla cantonment during World War II.
The joint expedition renewed bonds created between both nations 47 years ago and will promote defence cooperation at all levels between both armies, an Indian Defence Ministry spokesman said.
The event was attended by Major General Nayeem Ashfaque Chowdhury, GOC of 55 Infantry Division of Bangladesh Army, and Brigadier General Mohammad Mohsin Ali besides representatives of the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata, the spokesman said.
Bangladesh celebrates March 26 as its Independence Day.