India hands over 1971 War of Independence memorabilia to Bangladesh

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 DHAKA, April 25, 2018 (BSS) – A Mi-4 helicopter and two PT-76 tanks, which were used in the War of Liberation, were handed over by Indian government to Bangladesh Air Force and Bangladesh Army today at Bangladesh Air Force Base Bashar.

Indian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla handed over these memorabilia to Bangladesh authorities, an ISPR release said here today.

Chief of General Staff of Bangladesh Army Lt General Md Nazimuddin and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Admin) Air vice Marshal M Abul Bashar received the tanks and helicopter respectively.

“We are proud of the privilege of having fought shoulder to shoulder with you. The independence struggle is a testimony of the courage, valour, sacrifice and glory of the soldiers and people of the Bangladesh and India. This legacy and spirit will continue to inspire the future generations of both countries in the future,” the Indian high commissioner said.

PT-76 was the light amphibious tank of the Armoured regiments of the Indian Army. Amphibious capability of these tanks played a crucial role in the crossing of rivers and water bodies during the war. Their role in famous battle of Garibpur is worthy of mention where they outclassed a much large force and technically superior M34 chafee tanks of the Pakistani Army.

These tanks also played a crucial role in routing the Pakistani forces in Northern, North Western and Western sectors during the war.

Mi-4 was the transport helicopter in service with the Indian Air Force during the War of Liberation. It was extensively utilized for heliborne operations by the joint Forces in the Eastern sector.

It played a crucial role in early capture of Sylhet. 4/5 GURKHA battalion was heli-landed on outskirts of Sylhet town across the Surma River for this operation. This was followed by heli-landing of 311 Infantry Bridge across the mighty Meghna River on December, 9, 1971.

Earlier on October 22, 2017, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj gifted the memorabilia of the Liberation War of 1971 to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban. In this connection, Mi-4 helicopter and two PT- 76 tanks have been handed over to Bangladesh Air Force and Bangladesh Army respectively.

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