Bangladesh on Monday celebrated its 49th 'Victory Day' that marks its liberation from Pakistan, as the country showcased its military might at a parade which included spectacular aerobatics and display of defence acquisitions.
For the first time, a band contingent of the Indian Army also took part in the parade watched by Bangladesh President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, as well as ministers, diplomats and other dignitaries here.
The Indian Army band contingent drew loud cheers from the crowd as it marched past playing the tune of 'saare jahaan se achcha' with the announcer acknowledging India's contribution in Bangladesh's Liberation War of 1971.
A delegation of 20 Indian students belonging to the National Cadet Corps (NCC) was also present among the audience at the Parade Ground here along with DG NCC Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra.
Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das was also among the guests.
President Hamid took the salute and accompanied by Parade Commander Major General Mohammad Akbar Hossain, riding an open jeep, reviewed the Victory Day Parade.
Prime Minister Hasina was seen excitedly applauding the march-past, the flypast, aerobatics display, armoury acquisitions of different regiments and contingents of the armed forces, on the parade ground.
The parade showcased the development of the different civil and military organisations over the years as well as socio-economic progress of the country through tableaux.
The intricately decorated tableaux of various ministries were also part of the parade showcasing the development activities, religious harmony in the country and specific government programmes such as 'Digital Bangladesh'.
An eye-catching flypast and an aerobatic display in the skies by a MIG-29, other aircraft of Army aviation, Navy aviation and Rapid Action Battalion helicopter and parachute landing by Army paratroopers, drew loud cheers from the audience.
Latest military hardware of the Bangladesh armed forces such as self-propelled guns, state-of-the-art ammunition plant, armoured personnel carrier, armoured recovery vehicles, Medium Tank T-69, among others, were showcased at the parade.
Earlier, President Hamid and Prime Minister Hasina paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the Liberation War by placing wreaths at the National Mausoleum at Savar.
On this day in 1971, Lt. Gen. Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, heading 93,000 Pakistani troops, surrendered to the Indian Army under the command of Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora in Dhaka, and East Pakistan was declared as the newly liberated "Bangladesh".
A group of foreign journalists, writers and academics from 20 countries, including India, Nepal, the UK, Portugal and France, here as part of the 'Visit Bangladesh' tour organised by the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry, were also among the audience at the parade.