December 16 – In India, this day is celebrated as Victory Day. On this day in 1971, Pakistani army surrendered to India after which the 13-day war ended. Also born – Bangladesh.
Staff Officer of Eastern Command, Major General JFR Jacob, played a key role in the 1971 historic war.
At that time, the Chief of the Indian Army, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw sent Major General Jacob to Dhaka to make all the arrangements for the surrender.
On December 16, nearly 90 thousand Pakistani soldiers, along with Pakistan’s General Niazi, laid down their arms in front of the Indian Army.
The year 1971 marked 49 years of the war between India and Pakistan. The 50th year will begin on 16 December. On December 3, 1971, Pakistan started fighting, but in front of the might of the Indian soldiers, they had to kneel in just 13 days.
Pakistan’s military dictator Yahia Khan was oppressing the people living in the eastern part of his own country. On 25 March 1971, he ordered to crush the sentiments of East Pakistan. After this, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the leader of the movement, was arrested. People started taking refuge in India. After this, there was pressure on the Indian government to intervene.
The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi interacted with the Chief of Army Staff, General Manik Shaw. India then had only one mountain division and did not even have the capacity to build bridges. The monsoon was about to knock. In such a situation it was risky to enter East Pakistan. General Shaw made it clear that he would enter the battlefield with complete preparation.
On December 3, 1971, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was holding a public meeting in Calcutta (Kolkata). In the evening, Pakistani Air Force started bombing military airports like Pathankot, Srinagar, Amritsar, Jodhpur, Agra etc. The government planned a counter-attack.
Indian troops captured Jessore and Khulna of East Pakistan. On 14 December, the Indian Army caught a secret message that a meeting of top Pakistani officials would be held at the Government House in Dhaka. During the meeting itself, Indian MiG-21 aircraft dropped bombs and blew up its roof.