Dhaka, 25 April 2018 : A Mi-4 helicopter and two PT-76 tanks, which were used in Liberation War of Bangladesh were handed over by Indian Government to Bangladesh Air Force and Bangladesh Army on Wednesday (25-4-2018) at Bangladesh Air Force Base Bashar.
- E. Harsh Vardhan Shringla, High Commissioner of India in Bangladesh, handed over these memorabilia ceremonially. Chief of General Staff of Bangladesh Army Lt General Md Nazimuddin and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Admin) Air vice Marshal M Abul Bashar received the tank and helicopter respectively.
Indian high commissioner said, “We are proud of the privilege of having fought shoulder to shoulder with you. The independence struggle is a testimony of the courage, valour, sacrifice and glory of the soldiers and people of the Bangladesh and India,This legacy and spirit will continue to inspire the future generations of both countries in times to come”.
PT-76 was the light amphibious tank of the Armoured regiments of the Indian Army. Amphibious capability of these tanks played a crucial role in the crossing of rivers and water bodies during the war. Their role in famous battle of Garibpur is worthy of mention where they outclassed a much large force and technically superior M34 chafee tanks of the Pakistani Army. These tanks also played a crucial role in routing the Pakistani forces in Northern, North Western and Western sectors during the war.
Mi-4 was the transport helicopter in service with the Indian Air Force during the Liberation war. It was extensively utilized for heliborne operations by the joint Forces in the Eastern sector. It played a crucial role in early capture of Sylhet. 4/5 GURKHA battalion was heli-landed on outskirts of Sylhet town across the Surma River for this operation. This was followed by heli-landing of 311 Infantry Bridge across the mighty Meghna River on 09 December 1971. For the Meghna crossing it undertook 110 sorties over 36 hours continuously. This river crossing by the joint forces was also referred to as Meghna Helibridge.
Mentionable that during visit to Bangladesh, Foreign Minister of India handed over a list of memorabilia of liberation war of Bangladesh to Honourable Prime Minister to the Government People’s Republic of Bangladesh on 22 October 2017 at Ganabhaban. In this connection, Mi-4 helicopter and two PT-76 tanks have been handed over to BAF and BA respectively.
Mi-4 helicopter and PT-76 tank bears the testimony of Liberation War of Bangladesh as these were used in different purposes during liberation war in 1971.