‘Takeover of Dhaka in 1971 was not planned’

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The takeover of Dhaka in the 1971 India-Pakistan conflict was not planned, former Indian Navy chief, Admiral Madhvendra Singh (retd) said on Monday…reports Asian Lite News



Delivering the keynote address at ‘Militaria 2022’ being held here, he said that the conflict did not end with any major losses or gains in land in the Western sector, but it was a remarkable victory in the Eastern sector in Bangladesh.

The reasons for victory were the total air superiority and crucial intelligence gathering by Mukti Bahini as well as the coordination between the three wings of the armed forces: the Army, Navy and Air Force, the former Indian Navy chief said.

Noting the victory in the Eastern sector become a spectacular success owing to the taking of Dhaka by the Indian forces, he said that the decision to cross the Meghna river and head for Dhaka to take it was a decision of the 4 Corps Commander, Lt. General Sagat Singh.

“However, he has not received his due recognition and honour for this splendid victory though he has been recognised by the Bangladesh government,” he said.

Admiral Singh also said that his service did a commendable job during the 1971 war.

“The bombing of Karachi by the Indian naval ships was a laudable action. Since, Pakistan Air Force could not strike during the night, the naval operation took place at midnight.

“In the Eastern sector as well, the Indian Navy played an important role by bombing Chittagong and Khulna in Bangladesh. Not to forget the destruction of the Pakistani submarine, Ghazi,” he said.

However, the loss of INS Khukri was a setback to the Indian Navy, he added.

According to him, the intelligence gathering by the Indian forces during the 1971 conflict was an impeccable feat. “There are many lessons to be learned even in victory and we continue to learn new aspects of the 1971 victory even today.”

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Maroof Raza, founder of Militaria, said that they are elated to bring a second edition of Militaria back to the city. “The kind of response they are receiving is inspiring and in times to come there could be a full fledged Military Literature Festival in Jaipur,” he said.

The next edition will be in February 2023.

The speakers for the session ‘Generals on Technology’ were Lt General Rajeev Sabherwal (retd), former Signal Officer in Chief of the Indian Army, and Lt General P.J.S. Pannu, Former Deputy Chief, of the Integrated Defence Staff.

Lt Gen Sabherwal threw light on the different types of warfare such as Platform Centric Warfare, Network Centric Warfare, Information Centric Warfare, and Knowledge Centric Warfare, and said that in the times to come, warfare will be fought in all domains simultaneously and concurrently at all levels.