Lieutenant General Jacob better known as Jack Jacob is known for his contribution in saving thousands of lives while serving as chief of staff of the Indian Eastern command during the 1971 Bangladesh war. He was an inspiration for many, one of them is bar man Sunil Roy.
In 1973, a 17-year-old boy, Sunil joined Indian Army’s Eastern Command better known as Fort William. It was the time, immediate aftermath of Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 and creation of Bangladesh, where Fort William played the historic role of being the Indian Army’s base, which shaped Bangladesh as a nation. It was in Fort William, Sunil started his life along side the hullabaloo of defence strategy, aftermath of the war, which established India as the major power in the sub continent.
Sunil Roy joined as a casual worker and he was placed in several odd jobs for a year at a monthly salary of 20 Rupees. Later convinced by his sincerity the command has placed him in the bar, where he quite often came across several stalwarts of Indian army. Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora and Lieutenant General Jacob were also among the few.
Here it is important to note that, the 1971 Bangladesh war was fought under the command of Field Marshal Sam Makenshaw. The Eastern Command then was lead by Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora. In the year 1969, General Jacob was appointed Chief of Staff, Eastern Command,by General (later Field Marshal) Sam Manekshaw at a time when Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command.
Speaking to News Sense, Sunil Roy, who is retiring from service soon says, “Lieutenant General Jacob was a man a principle and a true soldier, who dedicated his life entirely for the country. He was a bachelor all his life. Whenever he is in bar, he use to be very polite to everyone of us in the bar”.
It was under the command of Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora the three corps of the Indian Army invaded East Pakistan and entered Dhaka and forced the Pakistani forces to surrender on 16 December 1971,a day after the conclusion of the battle of Basantar. After Pakistan’s Lieutenant General AAK Niazi signed the Instrument of Surrender, India took more than 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war. At the time of the signing of the Instrument of Surrender, 11,000 Pakistani soldiers were killed-in-action while India suffered only 3,500 battle-related deaths.