Crossing the River Meghna', On Dec 9, 1971 Indian Army crossed Meghna River and forced Pak Army to retreat
Decorated soldiers of the battle threw light on some of hair-raising events of battleAuthor : Avneet Kaur
On the last day of the Military Literature Festival, the third session focused on the story of a very important battle of Bangladesh's war of independence which was fought jointly by the Indian Air Force and the Army. The title of the session was 'Crossing the River Meghna'
The moderator of this session was Squadron Leader Rana Chhina. The panelists of this session were the decorated military generals who participated in this very important battle of Bangladesh's war of independence which has been recorded in the war history as 'Crossing of River Meghna'.
The session was inaugurated by Lieutenant General Gurbakhsh Singh Sihota, who fought in the war as a pilot. He described in detail that despite the difficult conditions, on December 9, 1971, the 5 to 15 km long Meghna River was crossed and the Pakistani army was forced to retreat.
Later, Major Chandrakant, who fought this war and took part in the ground battle while crossing the Meghna River. He gave a heart wrentching note of the a field battle which was fought during this war. He described though they suffered heavy losses but despite that the Indian Army had shown unparalleled bravery in repelling Pakistani forces and liberating Bangladesh.
After this Group Captain CS Sandhu, who was a key part of the battle, threw light on some of the hair-raising incidents of the battle. Sandhu had fought in the battle as a pilot. He said that it was very difficult to fly the helicopter at night as the helicopter was to cross the Meghna river at night. He told that as they were flying upon enemy territory and neither the navigation light of the helicopter could be operated nor the speed of the helicopter could be increased. Because several helicopters flew together, he explained how the helicopters kept a distance between each other by simply controlling the speed. He said that their helicopters were fired upon by enemy troops, which left many of their men wounded and some of them died later on. He said they finally won the battle despite difficult circumstances.
Later, Lieutenant General Shamsher Mehta, who took command of the Tank Brigade in this battle, highlighted the sacrifices made by the Tank Brigade and the loss of lives.