The majority of soldiers are from units that fought and won the 1971 Liberation War

A 122-member strong contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces will participate in India's Republic Day celebrations for the first time in the history of the event.

The participation of the sizable contingent from the friendly neighbour is of special significance as this year marks 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The tri-services contingent, which will have personnel from the Bangladesh Army, Air Force, and Navy, will be led by Lt Col Abu Mohammed Shahnoor Shawon. It will also include Lieutenant Farhan Ishraq and Flight Lieutenant Sibat Rahman as his deputies.

The majority of the soldiers in this contingent hail from the most distinguished units of the Bangladesh Army comprising 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 & 11 East Bengal Regiment and 1, 2 and 3 Field Artillery Regiment. These units have the distinct honour of fighting and winning the 1971 Liberation War, sources who are familiar with the team's composition said.

Significantly, the contingent also has members of the Bangladesh Navy and Air force who had contributed to the liberation of the country. Operation Jackpot and Kilo flight of the Bangladesh Navy and Air Force respectively demonstrated their resolve, courage and determination to fight against oppression, the sources pointed out.

This Bangladesh contingent also carries with it the legacy of the legendary Muktijoddhas who fought against oppression, mass atrocities by tyrannical forces and for the freedom of Bangladesh. There are numerous stories about valiant Mukti Bahini personnel and the Indian forces fighting side by side against the enemy to secure victory, something that ensured a bond like no other in the annals of history.

In addition to 50 years of India-Bangladesh ties, this year Bangladesh is also celebrating 50 years of its independence. Commemorative events will be organized jointly and in several other countries as well.

Given India's role in the liberation of Bangladesh, the fraternal ties that exist between the two countries make the relations transcend even a strategic partnership.