Poonam Singh

Commemorating 50 years of India's glorious victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war and the liberation of Bangladesh, Odisha today saluted the valour and grit of India’s armed forces while remembering some of the bravehearts from the State who had displayed exemplary courage and bravery in the line of duty and fought selflessly.

One such gallant soldier is Retd. Captain Duryodhan Mohanty who was part of the Indian Army, which helped liberate Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971.

Mohanty, a resident of Barunadiha Village under Rajkanika block in Kendrapara, vividly remembers the image of the wars and valor of his fellow Indian soldiers who fought against the Pak army,

Recalling the battle, the 1971 war veteran narrated how his battalion, the 14th Battalion of the Brigade of the Guards, was given the crucial charge of Gangasagar theatre war operation. 

“We were also directed to rescue Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's wife and family who were held hostage by heavily armed Pakistani troops,” Capt Mohanty recalled.

The retired Captain feels nostalgic and the thoughts of war and struggle make him feel proud of him and his fellow soldiers who laid down their life for the cause of liberating people who fought for the freedom of their nation.

On this day, the then Major-General of Pakistan Army, Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, surrendered before the Indian Army. Niazi, along with 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered and had also signed the ‘Instrument of Surrender’ at Ramna Race Course in Dacca (now Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh).

The ‘Instrument of Surrender’ was signed and accepted by Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora, the then General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of India’s Eastern Command.

Notably, after World War II, this was also the biggest-ever military surrender, which tells the story of the Indian Army's valour and grit. In this war, Pakistan suffered the maximum casualty with about 8,000 dead and 25,000 wounded, while India lost 3000 soldiers and 12,000 were injured.