Vijay Diwas: BSF organises first-ever parade in Delhi to mark 1971 war victory
Border Security Force played a critical role in the liberation of Bangladesh and the country salutes the officers and men whose resolve and valour created history in 1971, says S Jaishankar
The BSF held a first-ever "Vijay Diwas Parade" in New Delhi on Saturday to commemorate the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War that saw a historic victory of the Indian armed forces against Pakistan.
BSF director general Nitin Agrawal took the salute of the ceremonial parade at the Chhawla camp of the border-guarding force in southwest Delhi and paid homage at the martyr's memorial, the force said on X.
This was the first time that a full "Vijay Diwas Parade" was held by the Border Security Force (BSF) at the force level. Earlier, respective battalions and units held their own events to pay tributes to the personnel who laid down their lives during the 1971 war, a senior officer told PTI.
The post on X said solemn tributes were paid to remember "the remarkable contribution of BSF during the Bangladesh Liberation Struggle, and to honour the victory of Indian Armed Forces in the 1971 War leading to liberation of Bangladesh...."
The remarkable victory in the war following the surrender of more than 90,000 Pakistani soldiers on December 16, 1971 resulted in the birth of Bangladesh as an independent country.
India commemorates December 16 as Vijay Diwas.
The BSF played a vital role in the war.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar, while commemorating the 50th anniversary of the war in 2021, had said "the Border Security Force played a critical role in the liberation of Bangladesh" and the country salutes the officers and men whose resolve and valour created history in 1971.
"In many ways, the experience of 1971 was its initiation by fire. Yet the exceptional bravery displayed by BSF battalions, both at the eastern and western fronts, contributed to an outcome that was in India's favour.
"None of us can ever forget the genocidal campaign launched by Pakistani forces against the people of Bangladesh in March 1971," the minister had said in his keynote address.
In 2013, former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar officiated as the chief guest of the BSF raising day on December 1 and recounted what her father -- late Jagjivan Ram -- used to tell her about the force.
"In 1971, my father was the defence minister when the Bangladesh Liberation War took place and he would say, 'If the Army has a contribution to the war, the role of the BSF in it is no less'. He was a great admirer of your bravery and gallantry," Kumar had said at the Chhawla camp.
According to official records, a total of 125 BSF personnel were killed and 392 injured while 133 were reported missing after the war.
The about-2.65-lakh-personnel-strong force was raised in 1965 and it is primarily tasked with guarding important Indian fronts with Bangladesh on the east and with Pakistan on the country's western flank.