President Abdul Hamid’s emotional visit to Balat after 47 years

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President Abdul Hamid took an emotional ride down memory lane visiting Balat in Meghalaya, the north-eastern Indian state where he had worked as an organiser until the 1971 Liberation War.

President Abdul Hamid’s emotional visit to Balat after 47 years.

Hamid said Balat had sacrificed a lot for Bangladesh’s Liberation War and he felt visiting Balat was part of his duty. Visiting Balat after such a long time enabled him to fulfil the obligation, he added.

President Hamid, the then Sub-Sector Commander of Bangladesh Liberation Force or Mukti Bahini (Mujib Bahini) organised Bangladeshi youths who took refuge in Gumaghat, Mailam and Balat village in Meghalaya, mobilising them to take part in the Liberation War.

President Abdul Hamid’s emotional visit to Balat after 47 years.

He established a ‘Youth Reception Camp’ in Balat for those interested in fighting in the Liberation War and headed its operation.

Locals and members of the administration welcomed Hamid when he reached Balat from Guwahati by an Indian Air-Force helicopter on Friday.

President Abdul Hamid’s emotional visit to Balat after 47 years.

The president visit to Balat came four decades after independence and he met a few of the friends who helped him during that time of need, cherishing their reminiscences.

He re-counted his memories after meeting Marak and Rajat, two people he knew during liberation war.

President Abdul Hamid’s emotional visit to Balat after 47 years.

The president also visited the house he stayed in during the war and also Balat Bazar. He grew emotional after seeing the tea-stall where he spent his first nights after reaching Balat.

“They made a lot of sacrifices during our war of independence by providing refuge to 1 million people from Bangladesh at their own inconvenience,” the president told journalists.

“I could have met many of those who helped if I visited within 10 years of liberation war, but most of them have passed away,” he said.

President Abdul Hamid’s emotional visit to Balat after 47 years.

“It gives me immense satisfaction to visit the place that provided me with help, even after so many years; I have a long list of memories attached to this place,” he said.

Abdul Hamid said he could not visit Balat after independence because he was busy with various tasks.

He also said the post-1975 situation preventing him from visiting, but he could have visited Balat after 1996.

President Abdul Hamid’s emotional visit to Balat after 47 years.

“I used to live here with my family and it always haunted me for not visiting Balat, as if I was deceiving the people here. Today I feel I have completed my responsibility,” he said.

He shared recollections of past memories with the media, ranging from the start of the war and taking refuge in India to arranging aid for refugees.

“You cannot imagine how unbearable the time was! People were dying every day. This place evokes a trail of memories for me.” He said.

President Hamid will attend a summit of International Solar Alliance (ISA), an alliance of 121 countries regarding solar power, on Mar 11 at Rashtrapathi Bhaban Cultural Centre (RBCC) in New Delhi. He will reach New Delhi on Saturday from Guwahati.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma welcomed the President of Bangladesh when he reached Shillong from Balat.

President Abdul Hamid’s emotional visit to Balat after 47 years.

Credit: BDNews24.com

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