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11:12:05 pm 09-March-2018
Shillong, 9th March (IANS): Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid on Friday visited Balat, a border town in Meghalaya where he set up a camp for Bangladeshi youths taking part in the Liberation War in 1971.

Hamid is on a five-day visit to India. He will visit New Delhi to attend the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit on March 11.

"My visit to Balat was an emotional experience. The Liberation War of Bangladesh was a tough and difficult time," Hamid told journalists recalling how the Bangladesh Liberation Force (Mukti Bahini) camped in Meghalaya in places near the Indo-Bangla border, around Shillong and Tura.

President Hamid interacted with the villagers at Balat market and recollected his past as a sub-sector commander of the Mujib Bahini, Peter S. Dkhar, the District Magistrate of East Khasi Hills, told IANS.

Hamid established a youth reception camp at Balat for Bangladeshi youths and acted as President of the camp at that time.

Balat a border town near the India-Bangladesh border, 74 km by road from Meghalaya's capital Shillong.

The Bangladeshi President was flown in an Indian Air Force helicopter from Assam.

Upon his arrival in Shillong, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma received him and he was accorded a red carpet welcome.

In Shillong, Hamid visited the Brookside and Jit Bhumi in Rilbong where Rabindranath Tagore stayed.

He said that India-Bangladesh relations were deep-rooted and India had always helped Bangladesh in difficult times.

"India provided food and shelter to the Mukti Bahinis helped in the war of Liberation," Hamid said.

Chief Minister Sangma, who called on Hamid, sought improved business trade relations between Meghalaya and Bangladesh in the interest of the people residing across the border.

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