Published on: December 16, 2022
Why in news? Vijay Diwas or Victory Day is commemorated on December 16, marking the end of the 1971 Indo-Pak War and the liberation of Bangladesh.
India’s role in the 1971 War
- India had declared support for the Awami League. Without direct intervention, this was visible: on May 15, it launched Operation Jackpot, an operation to recruit, train, arm, equip, supply and advise Mukti Bahini fighters engaged in guerrilla warfare against the Pakistan military.
- when the Pakistan Air Force launched pre-emptive strikes towards Western India (including Amritsar, Pathankot, Srinagar, Avantipura, Ambala, Sirsa and Agra) on December 3, 1971, India formally declared war on December 4.
- The war, which was short and intense, was fought on both the Eastern and Western fronts over 13 days. “The notable battles which were fought in the area of responsibility of the Southern Army included the famous battles of Longewala and Parbat Ali where Pakistan’s armoured forces were destroyed by resolute Indian troops.
- The raid on the Pakistani town of Chachro carried out by soldiers of the renowned 10 Para Commando Battalion led by Lieutenant Colonel (Later Brigadier) Bhawani Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Jodhpur state was another famous military action
- On December 6, India formally recognised Bangladesh as an independent nation. Two days later, the Indian Navy launched an attack on Karachi. From December 12 to 16, Indian forces pushed through to Dhaka and entered the city, ending the war with a total victory.