President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the renovated historic Sri Ramna Kali Mandir here on Friday, 50 years after it was destroyed by the Pakistani forces in 1971, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla has said, terming it as an emotional moment for the two countries.
President Kovind is in Bangladesh on his maiden State Visit at the invitation of his counterpart M Abdul Hamid to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan in 1971.
On December 17, President Kovind will inaugurate the renovated Sri Ramna Kali Mandir, which was destroyed completely by Pakistani forces during the heinous 'Operation Searchlight' in 1971, Shringla said.
"So, it is fitting that 50 years from then, we are inaugurating a renovated Ramna Kali Mandir and it is not just symbolic, but it is also a very emotional moment for both our countries," he told reporters here on Wednesday.
According to a report in the Dhaka Tribune, President Kovind has also expressed his interest in exchanging views with the members of the temple committee.
According to various reports, the temple was set on fire, killing many people, including devotees and those residing in it. India supported the renovation of the temple. Hindus make up some 10 per cent of the Muslim-majority of Bangladesh's 169 million population.
President Kovind, who is here on a three-day state visit, held wide-ranging talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart M Abdul Hamid on Wednesday. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen also called on President Kovind separately and exchanged views on bilateral ties and how the two countries could step up their cooperation in a number of areas for mutual benefit.
On Thursday, the President attended the Victory Day Parade as the "Guest of Honour" here as Bangladesh marks 50 years of victory in the Liberation War against Pakistan.
On this day in 1971, Lt. Gen. Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, heading 93,000 Pakistani troops, surrendered to the Indian Army under the command of Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora in Dhaka, and East Pakistan was declared as the newly liberated "Bangladesh".
With inputs from PTI.