Agartala, Dec 16: Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has inaugurated a new War Memorial in Agartala and paid tribute to the gallant soldiers of Indian Army on the occasion of 'Vijay Diwas'.
The security forces personnel aside, retired army, navy and air force officers, freedom fighters of Bangladesh's Liberation War and officials from civil administration also paid homage to the war heroes.
The chief minister also paid tribute to the people of Bangladesh, then East Pakistan, who helped the Indian Army to fight against the Pakistani troops "as without their cooperation it would not have been possible to win the war so fast".
"Our victory in the war would not have been so easy without the people of Bangladesh coming forward to liberate their country from the rule of West Pakistan's Yahya Khan and his soldiers.
"Without their help it would have not been possible to win the war in such a short span of time. In that war lakhs of people of Bangladesh sacrificed their lives.
"So on this occasion, I also pay my homage to all those Bangladeshis who sacrificed their lives for their motherland and also show my respect to their family members," said Sarkar.
He urged the army to always remain integrated with the common masses and be their friends because without the support and cooperation of the common people, it would not be possible for the security forces to do anything alone.
The fight against the Pakistani soldiers was code named 'Operation Cactus Lily' by the Indian Army and was launched on Dec 3, 1971 in the erstwhile East Pakistan.
On Dec 16, the joint command of Bangladesh and Indian forces accepted the unconditional surrender of 93,000 Pakistani troops. Since then the day is celebrated as Vijay Diwas in India.
It was also on this day that the largest military surrender after World War II took place, when the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command, Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora accepted the instrument of surrender from Lt Gen AAK Niazi of the Pakistan Army at Dhaka.
In the nine-month long war, some three million people lost their lives and around 200,000 women and girls were raped.