Army chief to gift old Howitzer guns to B`desh

General VK Singh will aim to take forward the growing defence relations between the South Asian neighbours.

New Delhi: Forty years after he fought in the 1971 India-Pakistan war to liberate Bangladesh, Indian Army chief General VK Singh will be on a five-day visit to Dhaka beginning June 19 when he will gift three antique 3.7 Howitzers to that country`s Army as mementoes.

General Singh, who fought in the war as a freshly commissioned second lieutenant in the Rajput Regiment, will also present all required equipment for setting up a computer lab for the Bangladeshi armed forces apart from a rock-climbing wall, both for training purposes.

The gestures are part of India`s and the Army chief`s efforts to take forward the growing defence relations between the South Asian neighbours, officers in the Army headquarters here said on Thursday.

"Bangladesh`s first artillery battery called the Mujeeb Battery was formed with 3.7 inch Howitzers. India too used these several decades ago. Since Bangladesh wanted some guns for its legacy value and for perpetuating the Mujeeb Battery`s memory and accomplishments, these guns are being gifted," the officers said.

General Singh, during the visit, will meet top government leaders, senior armed forces officers and will also attend the passing-out parade of two batches of the Bangladesh Military Academy in Chittagong during this visit.

Army officials said here that Singh will fly to Dhaka on June 19 at the invitation of his Bangladeshi counterpart Gen Mohammed Abdul Mubeen.

Gen Singh, who will be accompanied by his wife Bharti Singh and five senior Army officers, will call on President Mohammed Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and also meet senior officers of the Bangladesh armed forces.

At Chittagong, he will be the chief guest at the passing-out parade of the 64th Long Course and the 35th Special Course of the Bangladesh Military Academy on June 22. He will return to India on June 23.

As India`s eastern Army commander based in Kolkata prior to taking over as the chief of the Indian Army, General Singh made special efforts to expand the military-to-military ties between India and Bangladesh.


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