Transformative War of 11th December 1971 on The Eastern Front

This day was eventful with Indian Army continuing its advance in all sectors. In the Eastern Sector, own troops captured Sadipur ferry in Sylhet Sector and Fenchuganj along with the railway bridge. Own battalions along with a detachment of Artillery were heli-lifted on 09 Dec and secured the road and rail bridges over Brahmaputra.

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In the South Western Sector, Kushtia was attacked after heavy bombardment by Artillery and Air Force. By evening, the enemy withdrew and Kushtia was captured. The enemy while withdrawing blew up the Hardinge Bridge.

In the North Western Sector, Infantry battalion under Lt Col PC Mankotia captured Bhaduria with tanks being employed in a supporting role. Bypassing Hilli, troops advanced to Goraeghat. Brigadier Tajammul Hussain Malik withdrew Pak 205 Infantry Brigade to Bogra to avoid being cut off. Hilli was captured, ending one of the most pitched battles in the Eastern Theatre.

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Own troops established themselves South of Gobindganj and the enemy withdrew from the South Bank of Brahmaputra in confusion. Maj JBS Yadava (later Lt General ) and Maj Abjeet Mamik (later Brigadier) both from 5/11 Gorkha Rifles were awarded the Vir Chakra for their outstanding bravery and leadership in the Battle of Hilli.

In the Central Sector, Mymensingh was occupied while 2 PARA(MARATHA) commanded by Lt Col Kulwant Singh Pannu, along with supporting elements was para dropped at Tangail with a view to capture Lohajang Bridge and destroy the enemy retreating from Jamalpur and Mymensingh. Tasked to cut off the retreat of the Pakistani troops from the north towards Dhaka, the unit touched ground at 1600 hours and was greeted by a jubilant crowd of local people. 

Lt Col KS Pannu was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for this outstanding leadership and the battalion received the Battle Honour of Poongli Bridge.
The paradrop at Tangail along with Indian Army’s speedy advance unnerved the Pakistani commanders. This combined with messages to all levels of Pakistani Army to surrender resulted in Governor of East Pakistan recommending a ceasefire to the Pakistani President. 

Only question now remained to be answered was, how long would the Pakistani Army hold on?

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