Vijay Diwas: 20 pictures that encapsulate India’s victory over Pakistan on Dec 16, 1971

Vijay Diwas: 20 pictures that encapsulate India's victory over Pakistan on Dec 16, 1971 22
Pictures from 1971, when Indian Army registered a decisive victory over Pakistan (credits below)

December 16, 2016, marks the 45th anniversary of Vijay Diwas or Victory Day, the day Indian Army registered a decisive victory over neighbouring Pakistan.

Every year, December 16 is celebrated as Vijay Diwas to commemorate India’s defeat of Pakistan in the 1971 war and to pay homage to all those heroes who lost their lives during the war.

Back in March 1971, the Pakistani army’s onslaught on people of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) led approximately eight to ten million people to flee from the country and seek refuge in neighbouring India.

India’s then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi gave sanctuary to the Bangladeshi government-in-exile and helped train Mukti Bahini, the face of Bengali resistance.

While India was not directly involved in the war till then, Pakistani air attacks on eleven Indian airbases on 3 December 1971, lead to the commencement of hostilities with West Pakistan and Indian entry into the war of independence in East Pakistan on the side of Bangladeshi nationalist forces.

On this day in 1971, the chief of the Pakistani forces, General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, along with 93,000 troops had surrendered unconditionally to the allied forces consisting of Indian Army and Mukti Bahini, led by General Jagjit Singh Aurora in Dhaka after their defeat in the war.

Special programmes are being organised at the headquarters of the Eastern Command at the Fort William in Kolkata to celebrate the day. Led by Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, a 72-member delegation of war veterans and Mukti Joddhas from the neighbouring country will take part in Vijay Diwas celebrations.

As the nation pays tribute to the bravehearts who laid down their lives during the 1971 India-Pakistan war, here’s a look at 20 images from the period leading to the victory and thereafter.

Vijay Diwas: 20 pictures that encapsulate India's victory over Pakistan on Dec 16, 1971
Pakistan’s Lt. Gen. A. A. K. Niazi signing the instrument of surrender in Dhaka on 16 Dec 1971, in the presence of India’s Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora
Vijay Diwas: 20 pictures that encapsulate India's victory over Pakistan on Dec 16, 1971 1
General Manekshaw with citizens of Bangladesh. Picture Courtesy: Indian History Pics/Twitter
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Women marching with guns on the streets of Dhaka to fight Pakistan. Picture Courtesy: Indian History Pics/Twitter
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Pakistani Army with their weapons laid down after surrender. Picture Courtesy: Rana Sandeep Singh
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Pakistani soldiers lay down their weapons to surrender in East Pakistan. Picture Courtesy: Smita Prakash
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Pakistani prisoners of war at prison camp in East Pakistan (Bangladesh). Picture Courtesy: Corbis/Bettmann
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Pakistani soldiers captured during battle at Khulna. Picture Courtesy: Corbis
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Celebrations at Comilla in Bangladesh after Indian Army freed the town. Picture Courtesy: The Hindu
Vijay Diwas: 20 pictures that encapsulate India's victory over Pakistan on Dec 16, 1971 6
Indian soldiers celebrating with civilians in Dhaka post victory. Picture Courtesy: Indian History Pics/Twitter
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Indian soldiers doing bhangra on captured Pakistani tank after victory in Battle of Longewala. Picture Courtesy: Indian History Pics/Twitter
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Indian Army hoisting the Indian Flag post victory. Picture Courtesy: Indian History Pics/Twitter
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Members of the Bangladeshi resistance after Pakistan’s surrender. Picture Courtesy: Indian History Pics/Twitter
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Soldiers of Mukti Bahini celebrating victory. Picture Courtesy: Indian History Pics/Twitter
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Indian soldiers after victory. Picture Courtesy: Smita Prakash
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Captured Pakistani soldiers. Picture Courtesy: Prabal Sethupathy/Twitter
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Front page of Pakistani daily Dawn. Picture Courtesy: Husain Haqqani
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Front page of The Tribune. Picture Courtesy: Rana Sandeep SIngh
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Front page of The Hindustan Times. Picture Courtesy: National Herald
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Front page of The Statesman. Picture Courtesy: National Herald
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Front page of The Tribune. Picture Courtesy: National Herald
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