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Rahul Gandhi, the Congress leader, will speak at a rally in Dehradun next week to mark the end of the year-long commemoration of the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.

“On December 16, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi will address a major gathering in Dehradun (Uttarakhand) that will involve a large number of 1971 War Veterans and other military veterans,” said Congress General Secretary K.C Venugopal in a statement on Friday.

The year-long commemoration will come to a close on December 15 in New Delhi, with Congress President Sonia Gandhi as the Chief Guest.

On December 16, the General Secretary added, programmes honouring war veterans and widows, as well as commemorating the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, would be held in a proper manner at the district level across the country.

The Bangladesh Liberation War, 1971 (BLW-71) commemorations began in mid-July with a district level conference in Panchkula, Haryana, after being postponed due to Covid-19.

“The Indian National Congress has held over 100 district level meetings across the country to date.” The state-level functions began on November 16 in Kohima (Nagaland), followed by other states, and are still ongoing. Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Tamil Nadu have hosted the most district meetings,” he noted.

Though the formal closing ceremony will take place on December 15, Venugopal added that states that have not completed their state-level ceremonies have been urged to extend the celebrations till December 31 and honour martyr families and war veterans. Some of the “Soldier States,” including as Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan, will continue the programmes at the district/block level beyond this year.

“A huge number of war veterans have gladly participated and been honoured in all of the gatherings held so far,” he stated.

He went on to say that the programmes have left an indelible impression on the country’s youth, making them aware of the saga of the Bangladesh Liberation War, which was led by the “visionary and courageous” Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and the “decisive” military victory planned and executed by Field Marshal (then General) Sam Manekshaw.

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