1971 war veterans celebrate Vijay Diwas

Kolkata, Dec 16 (IANS) Veterans of the Indian Armed Forces and Mukti Jodhas (freedom fighters) of Bangladesh, who fought shoulder to shoulder in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War against Pakistan, celebrated Vijay Diwas here on Friday.

This year, 38 Mukti Jodhas and serving Bangladeshi Army, Navy and Air Force officers attended the occasion at Fort William. The Mukti Jodhas have been attending the annual celebrations for the past 10 years.

They also participated in a memorial service for martyrs at Vijay Smarak.

Wreaths were laid by the veterans, members of the Bangladeshi delegation and commander-in-chiefs of the Eastern Army, Naval and Air commands.

The celebrations started with a band concert on December 13 at Kolkata’s Prinsep Ghat followed by an interactive session of the war veterans of India and Bangladesh.

December 16 is celebrated as Victory Day in Bangladesh and Vijay Diwas in India. The celebrations commemorate the victory of the Indian Armed Forces and the Mukti Bahini.

About 93,000 Pakistani soldiers, on this day in 1971, had surrendered to the Indian forces. This historic victory led to fall of Dhaka and the creation of Bangladesh.