The warships, corvette INS Kulish and patrol vessel INS Sumedha, will make the port call at Mongla from March 8 to 10. During a visit to Dhaka last week, external affairs minister S Jaishankar had described Bangladesh as a “key neighbour and valued partner” in the Indo-Pacific region, stressing that the ties between the two countries “transcend even our strategic partnership”.
“This is the first-ever visit of Indian warships to Mongla. The visit, while reaffirming the Indian Navy’s solidarity and partnership with the Bangladesh Navy, is aimed at paying homage to the Bangladeshi and Indian combatants as well as civilians who laid down their lives during the 1971 war,” said an officer.
`Force Alpha’, comprising Mukti Bahini’s `muktijodhas’ and Indian Navy combatants, had stormed and wrested control of Mongla from the Pakistani forces in a daring operation during the 1971 war, he added.
India has steadily stepped-up military ties with Bangladesh, with their armed forces also regularly interacting through exercises, exchanges and visits. The two navies, for instance, had conducted a bilateral exercise called “Bongosagar” to enhance interoperability in the northern Bay of Bengal in October last year.
The exercise was followed by the third edition of their coordinated bilateral patrol, during which warships from the two countries undertook joint patrolling along the international maritime boundary line. IAF chief Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria, incidentally, had also visited Bangladesh last month.