Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque today said India's former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was a true friend of Bangladesh as she extended unparallel support to the country's great liberation war in 1971.
He said this while addressing a discussion arranged by 'Bangladesh Sacheton Nagarik Committee' in memory of Indira Gandhi at Jatiya Press Club here.
The minister said under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, India gave shelter to a huge number of Bangladeshi refugees, provided trainings and weapons to Mukti Bahini during the Liberation War.
Had Bangladesh not got these supports, the Liberation War would have been longer, he added.
Mozammel said Indira Gandhi is the first world leader who protested against the arrest of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman just after his proclamation of independence of the country in the early hours of March 26, 1971.
She opened the border and gave shelter to around one crore refugees during the war, he said.
The minister said the people of Bangladesh will always remember the contributions of Indira Gandhi to the Liberation War with gratitude and honor.
He said there is a plan to build 'Indira Manch' at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan from where Indira Gandhi made announcement of bringing back the soldiers of Indian allied forces to their country.
Besides, works are underway to construct monuments in memory of martyred soldiers of Indian allied forces, he added.
Bangladesh former ambassador to Nepal and Bangladesh Sacheton Nagarik Committee convener Prof Dr Neem Chandra Bhowmik chaired the function while Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) former vice-chancellor Prof Dr Kamrul Hasan Khan, Jatiya Press Club President Saiful Alam and Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad Kendrio Command Council former secretary general and freedom fighter Salahuddin spoke, among others.