India celebrates December 16 as Vijay Diwas to remember and celebrate the victory of India over Pakistan in a 13 day long war in 1971. This year India is celebrating 50th Anniversary of Vijay Diwas.
War resulted in separation of East Pakistan from West Pakistan and brought Bangladesh on World Map. Bangladesh celebrates this day as ‘Bijoy Dibos’ and ‘Bangladesh Liberation Day’.
What is Significance of Vijay Diwas?
On this day, Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, Major General in Pakistan Army surrendered to Joint Forces of Indian Army and Mukti Bahini. 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered. It was the biggest surrender in number after Second World War.
“Instrument of Surrender” was signed at Ramna Race Course in Dhaka by Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi. It was accepted by Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of India’s Eastern Command.
What caused the Conflict?
Awami League, an Eastern Pakistani Party won the elections in Eastern Pakistan.
Pakistani Army started mass slaughter of Hindu and Bengali residents of East Pakistan.
Around 3 to 5 million people died. Nearly 8 to 10 million people started seeking refuge in India for protection of lives.
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi called for International Intervention to tackle the situation.
But, Pakistan launched airstrikes on Indian Air Bases.
PM Indira Gandhi ordered Army Chief General Sam Manekshaw to declare war on Pakistan.
Indian Forces along with Mukti Bahini Freedom Fighters captured territory of Eastern Pakistan.
War ended with signing of an ‘Instrument of Surrender’, 93,000 Pakistani troops surrendered on Dec 16, 1971.
What were War Casualties?
Pakistani Army suffered a death of nearly 8,000 troops and 25,000 poorly wounded.
Indian Army lost 3000 soldiers and nearly 12000 were injured.
The war ended Bangladesh Liberation War which started in March, 1971. On August 2, 1972 India signed Shimla Agreement with Pakistan and agreed to release 93,000 prisoners of war.