Operation Tangail Airdrop – Arun Kehtarpal Valour | 1971 India Pak war | RAW Part16


Operation Tangail Airdrop - Arun Kehtarpal Valour | 1971 India Pak war | RAW Part16:

Lives will be lost in the battlefield. The Soldiers know this truth. The Leader of an army says that it is suicidal to follow a certain path. But there are Soldiers who tell their leader that they are ready to sacrifice their lives for their country. These Soldiers are the real heroes. 

In 1971 India has been involved In Military Operations for the Independence of Bangladesh. 

This is RAW Part16. 

Pakistan had the support of world powers. But Bangladesh had the support of the Indian army. Six months before the war started. A Soldier Enlisted in the army. His name was Arun Khetarpal.  Arun Khetarpal was in the army for six months, the 1971 war has started. On 4th and 5th Dec 1971, the Indian Counter-Offensive has started. Now the situation demanded India to protect its Borders. India had two Fronts, East and West Pakistan. Rajasthan was very close to West Pakistan. The Pakistani army was trying to break the Indian defences and enter Rajasthan. There is an important strategic Location called Basantar. 1/3rd of the region was in Pakistan. Pakistan army at any time can try to attack the remaining region in India. Firing a Missile from Pakistan, the Pakistan army can destroy the railroad and Roads in J&K and Punjab. The Indian Supply lines were under threat and the main target was Basantar which will cut the supply lines. 

Arun Khetarpal’s unit was assigned to this location. Arun Khetarpal tank unit received a call for reinforcements, Arun’s Unit responded. They managed to destroy 17 to 23 Pakistani tanks. In the tank battle, Lt.Arun and his team managed to destroy 19 tanks while Arun’s tank got 2 kills. When his tank got hit Lt.Arun was asked to abandon his tank. But Lt. Arun badly injured knew that the enemy might breakthrough if he abandoned his tank. He refused to abandon his tank and continued his fight. His tank was hit the second time and Lt.Arun was Killed in Action. 

When there are soldiers like Lt.Arun.

Will India lose the war?

Indira Gandhi has given orders to General Manekshaw to defeat the Pakistan army. RAW and R.N Kao have given their analysis. The war started on 3rd Dec 1971. On the 4th and 5th of Dec, the war was raging. From 6th Dec the advantage shifted towards India. 

General Manekshaw was advancing his army. India had two fronts to fight in the war. Pakistan was fighting to enter India. General Manekshaw wanted the Indian army to capture Dhaka in East Pakistan. The UN at any time may call for a ceasefire. If the UN has called for a ceasefire there will be no Bangladesh. Pakistan will not be split and Bangladesh will never become an ally to India. General Manekshaw knew the Situation and ordered the Indian army to advance with Haste. 

On 5th Dec 1971, 1.00 AM Jaisalmer District which is in Rajasthan. The Pakistan army was advancing and have crossed the Indian Border. The Indian army after fighting for 6 to 8 hours managed to push back the advancing Pakistan army. The Second target for the Pakistan army was the Basanter region. The Pakistani Armored Division was sent into battle. The Indian army fought them with valour and courage. The Indian army managed to destroy 23 to 25 Tanks in the Battle. The Pakistan army had to retreat. 

Now the focus shifted to Dhaka of East Pakistan. It was not easy for the Indian army to liberate Dhaka. R.N Kao had a plan. Many people from East Pakistan were fighting against the Pakistani army. The Mitro Bagini was fighting against the Pakistan army. There were many groups of these freedom fighters. R.N Kao wanted to meet one person from this group. His name was Tiger Siddiqui. If Tiger Siddiqui Helped the Indian army, Dhaka can be easily liberated from the Pakistan Army.

Who was this Tiger Siddiqui?

Tiger Siddiqui’s name was Abdul Kader Siddiqui. He was in the Pakistan army. After the Genocide in East Pakistan, he quit the Pakistani army and became a Freedom Fighter. When many people were arrested or killed, Tiger Siddiqui became a Freedom fighter. He used Guerilla Warfare and taught the need for freedom to the East Pakistan youngsters. With Four Members he started the Kader Bagini in 21st Apr 1971. By Dec 1971 Kader Bagini had 17000 fighters. Tiger Siddiqui was able to convince many youngsters to join his fight. This was the reason fighters flocked to his group. 

Operation Tangail Airdrop - Arun Kehtarpal Valour | 1971 India Pak war | RAW Part16

RAW and RN Kao wanted Kader Bagini to speak with Mukti bagini. A Doctor’s name was mentioned to be the Mediator. The Dr’s name was Dr Nuran Nabi. Dr Nabi after seeing his people suffer joined the freedom fighters. Nabi was communicating with both Bagini groups. This information was obtained by RAW. R.N Kao sends an Intelligence officer to speak with Dr Nabi. The Officer mentioned that his name was Peter. Dr.nabi questioned Peter’s meeting with him. Peter said that he was sent by the Indian army and wanted to help the Freedom fighters.

Dr Nabi had his doubts behind the man called Peter.  Dr Nabi understood that India was ready to help the Fighters. The Next day a location was arranged for the meeting. This meeting took place on 7th,8th Dec 1971. 

On 6th Dec 1971, Indira Gandhi announced that India has recognized that East Pakistan is now Bangladesh. This announcement reached Bangladesh and Tiger Siddiqui. Tiger Siddiqui knew that India is ready to help them. He and his army’s morale was boosted by India’s announcement. The meeting took place and Dr Nabi, Peter and Tiger Siddiqui were at the meeting. After three days an important operation was scheduled in the meeting. The Operation name was Tangail Airdrop. Tangail was approx 60 to 70 Kilometres from Dhaka. The Indian army and Freedom fighters can easily liberate Dhaka if they had control of Tangail. The Indian army can cut off the Supply lines of the Pakistan army by capturing these roads. This was the plan of India. India set it as the D-Day on 11th Dec1971. 

On 8th Dec1971, the Indian army had a meeting. RN Kao wanted Operation Tangail to be Public. News about this Operation will be spread quickly. The International community must speak about this Military Operation. 

The Indian Airforce scattered leaflets in the Pakistan Border. The Leaflet contained Information on how the Pakistani army became the reason for the war. The Counterattack of India. The people of East Pakistan wanted freedom. The Complete details were in the leaflet. When the Pakistani army started reading these leaflets. They knew that India was attacking Pakistan in Psychological warfare. The Pakistan army knew that the Indian army is supported by the Bangladesh people. 

Operation Tangail Airdrop - Arun Kehtarpal Valour | 1971 India Pak war | RAW Part16

By 10th Dec 1971, India was ready for Tangail Airdrop. The Indian soldiers have been parachuted into the location says History. There were no Photos of the Airdrop. But on 12th Dec BBC released a supposed Photos of the Tangail Airdrop. India has sent the Photos to BBC. That was not the Photo of the Airdrop, but it was a photo taken on a training day. But when the Pakistan army say these photos they were rattled. They didnt know how India managed to airdrop these many soldiers. Upon closer inspection, we can understand that the Photos were fake. 

What was the role of the Indian soldier who was airdropped?

Before the airdrop, the Indian army had to cross a river. To cross the river an Indian Military Helicopter has flew straight for 36 Hours. 

What was this Operations name?

Was Tangail Operation a success?

What were the next moves of India?

Tangail was one of the Important Operations conducted by India. We will discuss the details in Part17. Please wait for more information. 

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