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Vijay Diwas to be celebrated tomorrow

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The nation will celebrate Vijay Diwas — the victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war — on a grand scale on Friday. According to an official release the initiative was taken by Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee to commemorate the event on December 16 and 17.

The events will begin with Mr. Mukherjee and three service chiefs laying wreaths at Amar Jawan Jyoti followed by a cultural programme by NCC cadets. The same evening, there will be a tri-services band concert along with lighting of candles and paying of laurel tribute by the general public at Amar Jawan Jyoti.

Aircraft such as the MiG-21 and the `Sabre Killer' Gnat which saw their first operations in the 1971 war would be on display. The Pechora and IGLA missile systems would also be on display along with Indra II and P19 Radar System. Besides, assorted ground attack weapons used in the 1971 operations would be on display. Also on display will be photographs depicting the Tangail airdrop, Battle of Longewala and attack on the Governor's house in Dhaka during the 1971 operations.

On December 16, 1971 the Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force and paramilitary forces together achieved a historic victory over Pakistani forces. The multi-pronged swift operation — executed with great valour — led to the formation of Bangladesh. It was also on this day that the largest military surrender after World War II took place when the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command, Lt. Gen Jagjit Singh Arora accepted the instrument of surrender from Lt. Gen. A.A.K. Niazi of the Pakistan Army at Dhaka.

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