Ceremonial welcome for Mukherjee in Dhaka

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 03, 2013 09:42 hrs

Dhaka: Bangladesh Sunday accorded a red-carpet welcome to President Pranab Mukherjee, complete with a 21-gun salute, as he arrived here on a three-day visit, his first trip abroad as India's head of state.

Mukherjee, who is accompanied by his wife Suvra Mukherjee and an official delegation, was received by President Zillur Rahman at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

A special decorated stage was erected on the tarmac with soldiers standing around to welcome Mukherjee. Several Bangladeshi ministers, including Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, were present at the airport to welcome Mukherjee.

The visit comes amid a general strike called by the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami to protest conviction of its top leaders for the 1971 war crimes. The clashes between those demanding death penalty for those convicted for the war crime and the Islamist leaders has claimed more than 50 lives so far.

Mukherjee is to call on President Rahman and receive the Bangladesh Liberation War Honour Award. He is expected to meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader and former prime minister Khaleda Zia.

He will receive an honorary Doctorate of Law from Dhaka University at a convocation ceremony and also attend a reception organised by members of the Indian community.

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