Indian President Ram Nath Kovind handed over the awards
India on Monday conferred Bangladesh's career diplomat late Syed Muazzem Ali and Eminent Archaeologist Prof Enamul Haque with the coveted Padma Award for their exceptional and distinguished services in respective fields.
Syed Muazzem Ali, a freedom fighter and a former high commissioner of Bangladesh to India, was conferred the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India for public affairs while Prof. Enamul Haque got the Padma Shri award for Archaeology.
Tuhfa Zaman Ali, wife of Syed Muazzem Ali, received the award from President of India Ram Nath Kovind on behalf of the recipient while Prof Enamul Haque received the award of his own at a ceremony at Rastrapati Bhaban in Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, among others, were present at the function, official sources said.
"President Kovind presents the Padma Bhushan to Syed Muazzem Ali (Posthumously) for Public Affairs," the president of India tweeted.
It added: "A career diplomat and member of Bangladesh foreign service, Syed Muazzem Ali was associated with starting energy cooperation and land connectivity between Bangladesh and India".
Muazzem Ali passed away on December 30 in Dhaka after completing his 5-year long tenure as the Bangladesh high commissioner to India.
He rebelled against the Pakistani government and declared his allegiance to Bangladesh in 1971, while serving in the Pakistan Embassy there. He also served as the Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh.
In another tweet, the president office said: "President Kovind presents Padma Shri to Prof. Enamul Haque for Archaeology. He is a distinguished archaeologist and a highly respected cultural activist in Bangladesh".
Born in 1936, Enamul Haque has taught at many universities including Dhaka University, Jahangirnagar University, and Brac University. Haque was the founder director general of the Bangladesh National Museum.
Announced annually on the eve of Republic Day of India, the Awards are given in three categories: Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher-order), and Padma Shri (distinguished service).
The president of India presented 119 Padma Awards this year. The list comprised of seven Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan, and 102 Padma Shri Awards. Twenty-nine of the awardees are women, 16 posthumous awardees and one transgender awardee.