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Bangladeshi freedom fighters get 5-year Indian visas

Bangladeshi freedom fighters will from Wednesday get five-year multiple-entry visas in line with New Delhi’s announcement during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India.

According to the Indian High Commission here, the provision is being extended to freedom fighters as a “special gesture” to recognise the special connection between Bangladesh’s 1971 war veterans and India.

Bangladeshi nationals above the age of 65 years are eligible for five-year multiple entry tourist visas, BD News reported.

They can walk in without prior appointment and submit their applications here as well as in Chittagong, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Barisal, Khulna, Jessore, Mymensingh and Rangpur.

They have to present proof of their being a freedom fighter, among other documents, while applying for visa.

Indian soldiers fought should-to-shoulder with Bengali freedom fighters in 1971 to liberate Bangladesh.

Hasina, during her visit, honoured those military officers and said that every generation of Bangladesh will remember the Indian soldiers who fought alongside Bangladeshis.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also announced a special medical scheme, under which 100 freedom fighters will be provided free treatment in Indian hospitals every year.

He had said that $5 billion Line of Credit, including $500 million for defence purchases, will be given to Dhaka, bringing India’s total development funding for Bangladesh to $8 billion over the past six years.