1971 India-Pakistan War: Meet Param Vir Chakras of The War Which Led to Formation of Bangladesh

On December 16, 1971, the Indian Army defeated the Pakistani Army. Around 93,000 Pakistani Army soldiers surrendered before our army. The war which went on for two weeks from December 3, 1971 to the fall of Dacca. Pakistan Army commander Lt. Gen. Niazi signed the documents of surrender before Lt. Gen. JS Aurora in Dacca on this day leading to the formation of Bangladesh. As per government data 1769 army personnel sacrificed their lives in the war. Meanwhile, 11 Air Force and 204 Navy personnel achieved martyrdom in the war.

Four Param Vir Chakras were given during this war:

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2nd Lt Arun Khetarpal

2nd Lt Arun Khetarpal:  21-yr old officer hailed from Pune. 2nd Lt. Joined 17 Poona horse regiment. He made supreme sacrifice in the Battle of Basantar on the eastern front. In spite being hit Khetarpal refused to vacate his tank. His last words to his commander on the radio sets were, “No Sir, I will not abandon my tank. My Main gun is still working and I will get these bastards.” Hi was awarded Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his gallantry.

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Major Hoshiar Singh

Major Hoshiar Singh: Major Hoshiar Singh belonged to 3 granediers. His battalion was given task to establish brigade head across the river Basantar in Shankargarh district between December 15 and December 17. River was well fortified by Pakistani army with mines on both sides. He was commanding the ‘C’ company. He was ordered to capture Pakistani post in Jarpal. Pakistani’s launched counter attack. He went from trench to trench motivating his men in spite of seriously injured. His courage and leadership repulsed the counter attack inflicting heavy causalities on Pakistani Army. For his bravery he was awarded Param Vir Chakra. He retired as Brigadier from the army.

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Lance Naik Albert Ekka

Lance Naik Albert Ekka: He achieved martyrdom on 3rd December in the Battle of Hilli on the eastern front. For his bravery during the battle he was posthumously awarded Param Vir Chakra.

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Flying Officer NirmalJeet Singh Sekhon

Flying Officer NirmalJeet Singh Sekhon: During the Indo-Pak war of 1971 he was serving No. 18 Squadron, ‘The Flying Bullets’ of The Indian Air Force’. Flying Officer Sekhon was flying Folland Gnat fighter stationed at Srinagar. He was awarded Param Vir Chakra posthumously for single-handedly defending Srinagar Air base against Pakistan Air Force air raid.

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India Gifted 1971 Liberation Souvenirs to Bangladesh

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Pakistan Army’s Lt. General AAK Niazi surrender to Lt. General Jagjit Singh Aurora                       (Picture Courtesy:defenceupdate.in)

India has handed over one Mi-4 helicopter and two Pt-76 tanks to Bangladesh as part of the 1971 Liberation War mementoes on April 26. According to a defence ministry spokesman, these gifts will be showcased at the Bangladesh army and air force museums. The helicopter and the tanks were parts of the gifts given by External Affairs Minister during her Bangladesh visit last year, reported PTI

The 25 souvenirs given in October last year includes pistol, rifles, machine guns and mortars alongside a large number of artefact, historical photographs, archival audio and video clippings, maps and battle records related to the 1971 Liberation War. PT-76 tanks were light amphibious, used for crossing rivers during the 1971 war by the Indian Army. These tanks outclassed much superior M34 Chafee tanks of the Pakistani Army, whereas Mi-4 transport helicopter is used for heliborne operations by the Indian Army in the eastern sector.

Earlier the Indian Air Force had gifted a Hunter fighter jet and one Dakota transport aircraft, and the Indian Navy gifted mementos of INS Vikrant and models of ships that participated in the war. The Indian Army also gifted six 3.7 Howitzer guns.