Northeast observes 50th anniversary of Vijay Diwas

Northeast observes 50th anniversary of Vijay Diwas
Observance of Vijay Diwas in Manipur.
GUWAHATI/AGARTALA/SHILLONG/ IMPHAL, DEC 16 (IANS/Correspondent) | Publish Date: 12/16/2020 11:14:37 AM IST

 Vijay Diwas, which marks the Indian military's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 Indo-Pak war and the creation of Bangladesh, was observed across the northeastern states on Wednesday.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Bangladesh Liberation War victory, the Border Security Force (BSF) organised a wreath laying ceremony at the Liberation War Memorial at the Bharat-Bangladesh Maitri Uddyan Park, Chottakhola, in south Tripura.

BSF's Tripura frontier Inspector General Susanta Kumar Nath, Bangladesh Assistant High Commission official S. M. Asaduzzaman, south Tripura District Magistrate Debapriya Bardhan and other dignitaries attended the event and paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the "Bangladesh Liberation War - 1971" besides highlighting the significance of Vijay Diwas.

War veterans were felicitated at the function, where hundreds of school children sang patriotic songs. The songs were also played by the BSF brass band and a short movie on the role of the 'Mukti Vahini in 1971 War' was screened.

The Tripura government has developed a big memorial and park at the border village of Chottakhola -- 132 km south of Agartala -- in memory of the Indian soldiers and Bangladeshi freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives during the war.

Former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar inaugurated the park and memorial in 2017, which was built on 20.20 hectares of land over an eight-year period at a cost of Rs 7 crore.

Vijay Diwas was also observed with traditional military decorum and fanfare at the Trishakti Corps at Sukna Military Station in Siliguri, West Bengal.

Defence spokesman Lt. Col P. Khongsai said that the 1971 India-Pakistan War resulted in a landmark victory for the nation, as well as its Armed Forces.

"The historic military victory resulted in Pakistan ceding control of then East Pakistan, thus paving the way for the birth of the sovereign nation of Bangladesh. Vijay Diwas is a historical event and a shining example of people's aspirations being ably supported by decisive military action. This year it is also being celebrated to begin Golden Jubilee year "Swarnim Vijay Varsh" celebrations," he said.

Lieutenant General Ajai Kumar Singh, General-Officer-Commanding of Trishakti Corps, paid homage to the fallen soldiers by laying a wreath at the War Memorial.

The day was also celebrated in Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and other parts of northeast India.

In Tripura, Agriculture and Transport Minister Pranajit Singha Roy paid tributes to the valiant personnel of the Armed Forces at the war memorial in the heart of Agartala city.

The Bangladesh Assistant High Commissions in Guwahati and Agartala also organised discussions, cultural programmes and a get-together on the occasion. The day-long celebrations are taking place in both the mission complexes.

"Besides cultural programmes performed by Indian and Bangladeshi artists, seminars and discussions are being held to commemorate the historic Bangladesh Liberation War and the incredible victory," said an official of Agartala-based Bangladesh's Assistant High Commission.

"The 1971 war comprised two major operations -- Operation Cactus Lily and Operation Nut Cracker -- and 57 Mountain Division was actively involved in both operations with fire power support from 57 Mountain Artillery Brigade," said defence analyst Manas Paul.

"Both operations progressed from Agartala westwards towards Dhaka. The war finally culminated on December 16, 1971 with the unconditional surrender of 93,000 Pakistani soldiers. Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora, Maj Gen (Retd) Ian Cardozo, Lt Arun Khetrapal, Lance Naik Albert Ekka are a few of our war heroes," Paul added.

In Meghalaya, General Officer Commanding 101 Area, Lieutenant General Tumul Varma laid a wreath at Rhino War Memorial Shillong, on behalf of all ranks of 101 Area, to commemorate, with reverence, the contribution of all brave soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice, in the line of duty. Veteran Representatives also participated in the somber ceremony.

Also, the Meghalaya Frontier of the Border Security Force (BSF) and its Bangladeshi counterpart Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) jointly celebrated “Vijay Diwas at the War Memorial at Killpara along the international border in Meghalaya.

Inspector General BSF Meghalaya, Hardeep Singh, along with DIG BSF, U K Nayal exchanged sweets and greetings with BGB at Integrated Check Post (ICP) Dawki.

BSF officers at Tura paid floral tribute at war memorial Killapara in West Garo Hills district in the honour of war heroes who sacrificed their life during 1971 war. BSF brass band show was also organized during the event.

In Manipur, chief minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday called for a concerted effort to make Manipur the most prosperous states of the country during his speech on the occasion of Vijay Diwas.

Addressing the occasion, Singh said that Indian armed forces were not well equipped at that time. However, it was the spirit of patriotism and sacrifice that won the war and liberated East Pakistan as Bangladesh. He stated that even many from Manipur were said to have taken part in the war. The state had sent even home-guards to join the war by promoting them to the rank of havildar.

The state level observance of the day was held at the banquet hall of 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles.

The chief minister and deputy chief minister Y Joykumar Singh led the attendees in payging floral tributes to the martyrs who laid down their lives for the cause of the nation.

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