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1971 War Hero Col VK Sahi Recalls Victory That Liberated Bangladesh From Pakistan | Watch

1971 war hero Col Sahi VK Sahi, Vir Chakra, in conversation with Republic, recalled the time when he got the opportunity to serve India on the battlefield.

Image: Republic

Commemorating India's 1971 victory over Pakistan that led to the liberation of Bangladesh, and of which he was an integral part, Colonel Virender Kumar Sahi, Vir Chakra, said the adage - 'Friends can be changed, Neighbours cannot' - doesn't apply to the Indian Army as its 1971 war victory proved with the formation of Bangladesh.       

"Saying 'Friends can be changed, Neighbours cannot' doesn’t imply for Indian Army. We changed our neighbour in 1971 and the Indian Army (can) dare to do it again," the 1971 war hero, Col Virender Kumar, Sahi said.

Col VK Sahi, Vir Chakra, got the opportunity to serve his country on the battlefield after writing to then Indian Army Chief, General Sam Manekshaw, requesting a posting near the battlefield. In 1971, Col Sahi was deployed in the western sector of Chamb in Jammu where Pakistan had nefarious plans to cut Poonch, Rajouri and Nowshera from the rest of India. 

Speaking to Republic Media Network, the 1971 War Hero said that on witnessing casualties of his injured battalion members returning from war, he was finding it difficult to stop himself from moving to the frontline. 

"Once they were in battle, they were having casualties- some dead some wounded. The wounded, through hospitals, were landing back in the Gwalior Regimental Centre. Whenever I went to look them up - leg blown off on a mine, hand chopped off, bullet injuries - I used to feel a sense of guilt being an able-bodied, trained, energetic, young warrior soldier sitting in a Peace Station when the battle is on and my colleagues are fighting," he said.

Subsequently, Col Sahi wrote to the then Indian Army chief General Sam Manekshaw to get himself posted on the frontline as he had pledged to protect his country's borders when he joined the Indian Army soon after the 1962 war. 

After his letter reached General Manekshaw, Col Sahi was posted to the Chamb sector where Pakistan was planning something big-- reportedly big enough to make up for the loss which it was about to suffer in East Pakistan (Bangladesh).

Col Sahi recalls how despite being low on numbers, he choose not to back off and gave the enemy a befitting reply and the post -Lalyali - he was holding, remains with India forever and the Tricolour is hoisted there with pride. 

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