- Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura
The Tripura government intends to transform the Old Central Jail complex into a library dedicated to ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, dubbed as ‘Father of the Nation’ of the neighbouring country – Bangladesh.
Chroniclers revealed that ‘Bangabandhu’ had spent a night in the premises of Old Central Jail in the year 1996. As a result, the Tripura government is eager to create something memorable to honour him in this location.
Sekhar Datta, a chronicler and veteran journalist narrated “Sheikh Mujibur Rahman entered Indian territory through Khowai borders (now a district) and reached Agartala. Then, he was accommodated at the official residence of Nani Gopal Kar Bhowmik, the then Jail Superintendent of the Old Central Jail”.
Spending entire night in the Kar Bhowmik’s residence, ‘Bangabandhu’ met with Sachindra Lal Singh, the then Chief Minister of Tripura. However, no official records of the meetings were maintained considering the situation during that time.
Time and again, Bangladesh government recognized significant role of Tripura during their liberation war in 1971. Now, this setting up of library will definitely be a milestone to the bilateral ties as Tripura is trying hard to make progress in the field of trade and commerce using Bangladesh as route to South East Asian market.
Top sources of the Tripura government informed ‘Northeast Today’, “After shifting of Old Central Jail from Agartala to Bishalgarh (21 KMs away from the capital city) in 2013, the government had devised that an English Medium College shall be constructed in the old building premises in PPP model.”
“People from different sections raised several demands in the complex of Old Central Jail. Hence, the project was halted. Now, the new plan of constructing a library had come up for discussions in the name of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman alongside of the English Medium College building inside the old central jail premises”, the source added.
Mukta Mancha, a platform of intellectuals and civil society members raised demands of opening a botanical garden along with a library which is also likely to be considered.
On the other hand, Arif Mohammed, Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Agartala said that the Commission and the government of Tripura are also identifying the places with historical importance related to the Bangladesh liberation war.
“The Assistant High Commission of Bangladesh in Agartala and the government of Tripura are jointly identifying different historical places like bunkers, graveyards, etc which are significant in connection to the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971”, said Arif Mohammed, Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Agartala.