Dhaka: Over forty years after he saved lives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her mother from Pakistani captivity, Bangladesh will honour a former Indian army officer with the prestigious "Friend of Liberation War" award.
"The cabinet meeting today decided to confer Colonel (retd) Ashoke Tara with the honour," Cabinet Secretary M Mosharaf Hossain Bhuiyan told newsmen after a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Bhuiyan said the cabinet decided to honour Tara as he "with immense courage and valour freed" Bangladesh`s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman`s wife Fazilatunessa Mujib, two daughters including incumbent the Premier and minor son Sheikh Russell from Pakistani captivity.
Tara`s role was widely acknowledged in different documents as allied Indian troops was entrusted with the task to free Mujib`s family at the fag end of the Liberation War when the Indian army entered Dhaka.
Indian government earlier honoured him with gallantry award `Vir Chakra` for his role during 1971 war.
Former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was the first to receive the honour posthumously last year with her daughter-in-law and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi receiving it in Dhaka.
Bangladesh subsequently conferred the honour to 83 other "1971 foreign friends" in March this year with most of them being Indians at a ceremony in Dhaka coinciding with the 40th independence anniversary.