Odishatv Bureau

Mathura: The Army commemorated the Battle of Basantar on Monday with the General Officer Commanding, 1 Corps paying homage to the soldiers who fought and died during the engagement in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

"The country is proud of the heroic deeds of martyrs for their gallantry in the Battle of Basantar during the 1971 war," GOC Lieutenant General A S Bhinder said here.

The officer laid a wreath at the war memorial in the Mathura Army Cantonment and hailed the soldiers who fought during the war.

Basantar Day is celebrated to commemorate the soldiers who fought in the Battle of Basantar during the 1971 war, Lt Colonel Ashish Bajpai, Headquarter, 1 Corps said.

The battle took place in Shakargarh area of Pakistan.

Bajpai said the elite strike corps under the leadership of then Lieutenant General K K Singh was tasked for defensive and offensive operations in the Shakargarh sector.

The Battle of Basantar was one of the greatest tank battles ever fought as 17 Horse and 4 Horse, the elite Indian tank regiments, destroyed 46 of Pakistan's Patton tanks during the engagement, the officer said.

While Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal of 17 Horse tank regiment was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his heroic actions during the battle, Major (who later became brigadier) Hoshiar Singh of 3 Grenadiers was awarded the highest war-time award for his exemplary courage and leadership, Bajpai said.

It was one of the greatest battles fought where the numerically superior Pakistan forces were defeated on their soil by the Indian armed forces.