1971 war : Lt Gen JBS Yadav, the man who proved his mettle in 1971 war

Insight Online News

New Delhi, Dec 17 : Former deputy Chief of Army Staff Retired Lieutenant General J.B.S. Yadav, who was the Indian Army’s commanding officer on the Siliguri corridor, shared some untouched aspects of the 1971 war and how they made Pakistan bite the dust.

Remembering the war, Yadav told IANS: “When the 1971 war began, the situation was very bad as the Pakistan Army unleashed atrocities upon the Bengalis of East Pakistan, Hindus and Muslims. The condition of the refugees was very bad, women and children were beaten ruthlessly. Numbers were written on the back of men, and they were asked to run towards the border and shot dead.

“Mukti Bahini was formed, which along with the Bengalis of East Pakistan took on the Pakistan Army, but faced defeat. After that India came to their rescue and the aim was to liberate the people of East Pakistan from the tyranny of Pakistan,” he said.

“During this, the Army was assembled, weapons were collected and after all the diplomatic options got exhausted, Pakistan was attacked. At that time, four Pakistan divisions arrived in East Pakistan and we attacked them from all sides.”

“I was in North West sector and it was an important area near Siliguri corridor as 16 divisions of the Pakistan Army were deployed there. Had Pakistan cut off that corridor, we could have lost the connect and could not have helped our Army,” he further said.

The Lt. General said: “I had the responsibility to attack Pakistan. Bogra was Pakistan’s communication, logistic and army centre which we wanted to capture.

“In the beginning, Pakistani soldiers were fighting fiercely and at that time, one of our tank brigade and infantry brigade were tasked to cut-off their communication and attack them.

“On December 7, we cut-off the Bogra Highway and on December 11, war was fought in Govind Ganj. We crossed the river on top of the tanks and attacked the Pakistani Army from behind, leaving the enemy shocked,” he added.

“We destroyed six tanks, as many artillery guns, 17 cars and killed over 250 soldiers,” he said.

“On December 13, battle of Mahashtan was held, we got the orders that we have to go ahead and kill enemy. Our jawans attacked their battalion and Major Mehmood and his comrades were taken prisoners,” he added.

After that, 1,500 Pakistani jawans were deployed at the Bogra border, they were also killed. Fierce battle was fought for two days. The Indian Army gheraoed the town from three sides and attacked it. Till December 16 morning, heavy exchange of fire occurred and then, ceasefire was announced.

“After that we saw that the Pakistani Army was waving white flag and 93,000 soldiers of the Pakistan General Niazi surrendered to the Indian Army,” he said.

On December 16, 1971, Pakistani Army’s commander Lt. General A.A.K. Niazi in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) surrendered 93,000 soldiers to India, ending the war that began on December 3.

After India’s victory, Pakistan was divided and a new country Bangladesh was created.

On Thursday, the country celebrated, 50th ‘Vijay Diwas’. Every year, India celebrates the victory over Pakistan in the December 16, 1971 war and pay tributes to the heroes.

IANS / AGENCY

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