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Vijay Diwas celebrated across country, PM hails soldiers for India's victory in war with Pakistan

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Minister of State for Defence, Shripad Naik, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria pay homage at the National War Memorial on the occasion of Vijay Diwas, in New Delhi, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. Photo: PTI.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Vijay Diwas, which marks the Indian military's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 Indo-Pak war and the creation of Bangladesh, was celebrated across the country on Monday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that the history created by the soldiers will be written in golden letters.

On this day in 1971, over 90,000 Pakistani soldiers had surrendered before Indian troops, bringing to an end the bitterly fought war on the eastern and western fronts. It also led to the creation of Bangladesh.

Hailing the armed forces for the India's victory in the war, the prime minister tweeted, "On Vijay Diwas, I pay tributes to the courage, valour and bravery of Indian soldiers. The history that our troops created on this day will be embossed in golden letters."

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh saluted the valour and courage of Indian armed forces and said their sacrifice and service will never be forgotten.

"On the occasion of Vijay Diwas today the nation salutes the indomitable courage and valour of India's armed forces. We are proud of our Armed Forces who have defended our country in every situation. We will never forget their sacrifice and service," Singh said on Twitter.

In Goa, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, while lauding the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers during the war, said, "On this historic day in 1971, Pakistan surrendered to Indian Army unconditionally. On #VijayDiwas, I join the nation in paying tributes to the brave martyrs of 1971 war and salute the valour of our Armed Forces."

In Jammu and kashmir, the Army celebrated the 48th anniversary of the India-Pakistan war.

Corps Commander Lt General K J S Dhillon led officers and other ranks of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps in paying tribute to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the war memorial, a defence spokesman said.

"The 48th anniversary of the Indian victory in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war was celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. Several functions were held to mark the occasion," he said.

The spokesman said a felicitation function was held to acknowledge and honour the sacrifices of the veterans and martyrs of the 1971 war.

The day was also celebrated at Udhampur-based northern command and various areas of the Jammu region.

Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Northern Command, laid the wreath on behalf of all ranks of Northern Command at Dhruva Shahid Smarak.

White Knight Corps Commander, Lt Gen Harsha Gupta, laid wreath at Ashwamedh Shaurya Sthal War Memorial at Nagrota to honour the valiant martyrs of the Indian Army.

Speaking on the occasion, the GOC exhorted the troops to be "ever ready" to face any challenges with grit, determination and valour and emerge victorious.

The day was also celebrated at Balidan Stambh by the Tiger Division.

Major General Sharad Kapur, General Officer Commanding, Tiger Division, laid floral wreaths at 'Balidan Stambh' and 'Tiger War Memorial' on the occasion.

In Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Kamal Nath said the 1971 India-Pakistan war symbolises the bravery of the country's soldiers and also the strong leadership of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Recalling the valour of the Indian armed forces on the occasion, Nath paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the war.

"Always remember our martyrs and I call upon the citizens to strive for development, prosperity and maintaining peace in India," the Congress leader said.

The Army's Western Command commemorated Vijay Diwas in Chandigarh.

Homage was paid to the martyrs and wreaths were laid by Lt Gen R P Singh, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command at Panchkula, a defence release said here.

In Rajasthan, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot paid tributes to the martyrs of the war and hailed the valour of the country's armed forces and remembered the leadership of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

"I salute the valour of our Armed Forces on Vijay Diwas and pay tributes to the brave martyrs of the 1971 Indo-Pak War. This victory remains India's greatest. We can never forget exemplary leadership of then PM Indira ji as well as the courage and supreme sacrifice of our soldiers," Gehlot said.

He said Vijay Diwas is a symbol of pride for the whole country and nobody can forget sacrifice of the soldiers.

South Western Army Commander Lt Gen Alok Singh Kler paid tributes to the martyrs of the war at the Jaipur military station.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat lauded the soldiers from the state, saying they had taken part in all wars fought since Independence and 248 of them lost their lives in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.

After paying floral tributes at the 'Shaheed Smarak' in Gandhi Park here, Rawat said in 1971, the three armed forces of India -- Army, Navy, Air Force-- worked in harmony to ensure that the military confrontation ended in just 13 days with the surrender of 95,000 Pakistani soldiers.

In the war, 248 soldiers from Uttarakhand were killed and 78 were injured, he said, adding that 74 soldiers from the state were given the bravery award.

The Army in Uttar Pradesh's Mathura commemorated the Battle of Basantar on Monday with the General Officer Commanding of I Corps paying homage to the soldiers who fought and died during the Indo-Pak war.

Basantar Day is celebrated to commemorate the soldiers who fought in the Battle of Basantar during the 1971 war, Lt Colonel Ashish Bajpai, Headquarter, I Corps said.

The battle took place in Shakargarh area of Pakistan.

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