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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Celebrating Vijay Diwas ~ the surrender of Pak army

For the Nation, today, 16th Dec  marks the 41st anniversary of its victory over Pakistan resulting the liberation of East Pakistan now called Bangladesh.  Commemorating the victory,  Vijay Diwas is being celebrated in many parts of the country.  Forty one years ago, on this day  in 1971, the Indian Army won war against Pakistan and a liberated Bangladesh emerged.  On this day in 1971, the Pakistani Army surrendered to the Indo-Bangladeshi High Command in Dhaka, ending the 9 month-long  Bangladesh Liberation War and 1971 Bangladeshatrocities. General AAK Niazi, the Commanding officer of the Pakistani Armed Forces located inEast Pakistan, surrendered his forces to Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora, the Allied forces commander.

This is not to be confused with “Kargil Vijay Diwas” named after the success of Operation Vijay – which on - 26th of July 1999, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders. The Kargil war was fought for more than 60 days, ended on 26th of July.

Today, i.e., 16th December,  India pays tribute to its martyred soldiers who died in 1971 war.  There are reports of celebrations of the 'Vijay Diwas' at Shivaji Park, Mumbai. Defence Minister AK Antony paid homage to the brave soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate. The chiefs of the defence forces in India, Indian Navy Chief, Admiral D.K Joshi, Army Chief General Bikram Singh and Air Chief Marshal, N.A.K Browne, also paid their homage to the martyred soldiers. At Shivaji Park, around 1500 military personnel from across the states are scheduled to gather to mark this victory day in a three-day programme.

Reports state that the  Army through 'Know Your Army Mela' would also try to reach out to people and would show its military might.  Military bands will be displayed at Gateway of India, Chowpatty and at Radium Mall. Problems of ex-servicemen's residing in Mumbai and nearby areas will also be addressed in the Mela. Youth will also be told about the benefits of joining the Army.

There are reports of celebrations at Agartala also.  A wreath laying ceremony was organised at the War Memorial in Lichu Bangan, and in the capital city Agartala. Tripura Governor D.Y. Patil and the state's Science and Technology Minister Joygobinda Debroy laid the wreaths in memory of the slain soldiers. According to historian and writer Bikach Chowdhury, Tripura had six to seven camps in four sectors from where the 'muktijoddhas' (freedom fighters) fought the Pakistani forces in the nine-month-long war in 1971 that led to the creation of Bangladesh, which was earlier East Pakistan. "Over 1,600,000 Bangladeshis - a number larger than the state's then total population of 1,500,000 - had taken shelter in Tripura alone," he said.

During the Bangladesh Liberation War, 10 million men, women and children from then East Pakistan took shelter in the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya.
The Liberation War, as it is called in Bangladesh, later turned into a full-scale India-Pakistan war, leading to surrenders of thousands of Pakistani soldiers in December 1971. India was the first country to recognise Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict over a duration of about 9 months, putting Bangladesh erstwhile East Pakistan and India against the State of Pakistan. The war started on 26 March 1971 between the State of Pakistan and East Pakistan, India intervened on 3 December 1971. Armed conflict ended on 16 December 1971 and resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh.  The war broke out when army units directed by the State of Pakistan (then controlled by West Pakistan) launched a military operation called Operation Searchlight in East Pakistan against Bengali civilians. On 16 December 1971, the allied forces of the Indian army and the Mukti Bahini defeated the West Pakistani forces deployed in the East.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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