Indo-Bangla maiden military exercise

New Delhi: Special Forces of India and Bangladesh will hold their first-ever joint military exercise starting Sunday in Sylhet in Bangladesh.

"The two sides will engage each other in the 14-day exercise codenamed `Op Sampriti` and will practice counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations under the UN mandate," Army sources told here. India is fielding around 40 troops of its elite 21 Para (Special Forces) battalion for the exercise whereas the Bangladesh Army will deploy one of its Para Commando battalions, they said. Around 40 to 50 troops will take part in the exercise, they said.

The officials said the two sides are aiming to further enhance their mutual understanding through increased military-to-military contacts. Military relations between the two sides received a boost when Indian Army Chief General V K Singh had visited Dhaka last year and gifted howitzers and modern computers to the Bangladesh Army.

Gen Singh had gifted the two 3.7 inch howitzers, which were part of the first artillery unit of the Bangladesh Army. Gen Singh had also taken part in the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war as part of his Rajput Regiment battalion.