Agartala (Tripura): The Tripura government has decided to dedicate the old Central Jail compound into a library named after neighbouring Bangladesh’s father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheik Mujibur Rahman.
According to historians, Bangabandhu spent a night in the old central jail complex during the Bangladesh liberation war and this is why the state government is keen to dedicate the place in his memory.
Tripura Government sources said, “Initially it was planned that the old building will be converted into an English Medium College in PPP model. The project was almost in the final stage but due to some problems, it could not work out. Thus, the new plan of converting the historic building into a library came up in the discussions”.
“Most probably, Sheik Mujibur Rahman entered Indian territory through Khowai borders (now a district) and straight arrived at the capital city–Agartala. He was then accommodated at the official residence of Nani Gopal Kar Bhowmik, the then Jail Superintendent of the old central jail,” said Sekhar Datta, historian and scholar.
Bangabandhu spent the whole night in Kar Bhowmik’s residence and met the then Tripura Chief Minister Sachindra Lal Singh. No official records of the meetings were kept considering the situation prevailing at that point of time.
Tripura’s significance in Bangladesh’s liberation has been recognized by the Bangladesh government time and again and this new initiative will certainly add a new feather to the bilateral ties, at a time when Tripura is trying hard to make progress in the field of trade and commerce using Bangladesh as a route to South-East Asian market.
A botanical garden may also be built alongside the library considering the demands of Mukta Mancha–a platform of intellectuals and civil society members.
Arif Mohammad, Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner, on the other hand, told ANI that the state government is also identifying the places with historical importance related to the Bangladesh liberation war.
“A good number of bunkers, graveyards and other places of significance pertaining to the Bangladesh liberation war still exists in Tripura. A process of identification of those places is underway,” Mohammad added.