BHARAT RAKSHAK MONITOR - Volume 6(3) November December 2003

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Images of 1971: The Pakistani Surrender at Dhaka

Sachin Kanbargimath and L. N. Subramanian

The venerable Mi-4 Hound lands in Tangail. The Mi-4 was the workhorse of the Indian Army at the time. A highly successful heli-borne operation using Mi-4's helped the Indian Army's 57 Mountain Division clear the mighty Meghna river. The linkup at Tangail was the key to achieving a quick victory in 1971. 
   
COAS General Sam Maneckshaw addressing Indian troops after the surrender ceremony. Also seen in the picture Lt. Gen. Sagat Singh, Maj. Gen. Gandharva S. Nagra,and Brig. Hardev Singh Kler. 
   
This photo depicts Maj. Gen. G. S. Nagra, GOC 101 Communication Zone and Brig. Hardev Singh `Harry' Kler , Commander of 95 Mtn Bde at the surrender ceremony in Dhaka. . The 2nd Para Battalion attached to the 101 Communication Zone was the first Indian Army unit to enter Dhaka. Gen Nagra wears the Divisional sign of 2 Mtn Div - He was sent to hurriedly take over 101CZ from Maj Gen Gurbux Singh, who was wounded in a mine accident. 
   
Indian officers pose for photos next to abandoned PAF Sabre jets at Dhaka airport. After an initial show of force by the PAF, the IAF dominated the skies. Inspite of orders to 'destroy' the Sabres, Air Cmde Imam, AOC Dhaka failed to carry out the instructions. 
   
Eastern Army Commander Lt. Gen. Aurora addresses the Bangladeshi crowd in a liberated town
   
Mukti Bahini soldier addresses Bangla civilians. The Mukti Bahini's support was critical to the success of the Indian Army's offensive. A large number of Mukti Bahini soldiers - hard core Bangladeshi patriots lost their lives to Pakistani bullets. 
   
General Maneckshaw meeting Indian troops. 
   
Maj. Gen. Nagra lands at Tangail with Brig Kler and some Officers of the Para Regiment. 
   
Jubiliant Bangla women in Dhaka after liberation. Note that both are carrying rifles; women played a major role in the Mukti Bahini.  
   
Maj. Gen. Nagra and Brig. Kler conferring with an unidentified IAF Officer. Brig. Kler's 95 Mountain Brigade was tasked with subduing the Pakistani garrison at Jamalpur. The IAF offered close air support and that enabled Brig. Kler to end the Jamalpur siege quickly. With Jamalpur out of the way, 95 Mountain Brigade was able to swiftly link up with troops from the 50 Para Brigade dropped near Tangail. This closed the noose around Dhaka. 
   
4th Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Sagat Singh addressing Indian troops at the surrender ceremony. General Sagat Singh's penchant for rapid maneuver was the driving force behind the 57 Mountain Division's jump across the Meghna. Though 4th Corps `lost' the `Dash to Dhaka' to the 101 Communication Zone's troops, Gen. Sagat Singh's leadership played a major part of ensuring the victory of 1971.
   
Colonel Tate of the Pakistan Army addressing surrendered Pakistani troops. 
   
Surrendered Pakistani Troops standing for inspection. 
   
Normalcy was restored as the days went by. 
   

All Photos are credited to Brig S. S. Kanbargimath (Retd), who was attached to the 95 Mountain Brigade at the time. Gen. Kler's 95 Mountain Brigade was the first Indian formation to reach Dhaka on December 16th 1971. 

This photo feature is dedicated to the unknown soldiers who gave their lives for the liberation of Bangladesh. 

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