The attack on Pakistan’s port city of Karachi by Indian missile boats during the 1971 Indo-Pak War is commemorated on Navy Day.
Every year on December 4, India commemorates Navy Day to honour Indian Navy personnel who maintain a high level of readiness to protect our peninsular country’s seaward borders and neutralise all maritime threats.
During the 1971 Indo-Pak War, Indian missile boats attacked Pakistan’s port city of Karachi during Operation Trident. At Karachi harbour, navy personnel successfully fired missiles at Pakistani ships, oil installations, and shore defence installations. Several Pakistani ships carrying war supplies and critical supplies were sunk by the Indian Navy during the 1971 war operations. The enemy’s harbours and airfields at Khulna and Chittagong were attacked by fighter aircraft from the deck of the INS Vikrant, causing damage to ships, defence facilities, and installations. Both the missile strikes in Karachi and the airstrikes from Vikrant resulted in Pakistani forces being defeated in East Pakistan at the time (present-day Bangladesh).
‘Making the seas safer’
The Indian Navy’s personnel are constantly patrolling the seas to keep them safe. The naval force operated and exercised with navies of friendly neighbouring nations to build better understanding, synergy, and cooperation in the region at a time when the world’s people were siloed indoors due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The command ships assisted in ‘Samudra Setu’ and ‘Mission Sagar,’ ferrying personnel from foreign soil and within the country to deal with the unprecedented humanitarian crisis caused by the virus pandemic. According to government releases, the INS Kesari transported more than 500 tonnes of emergency rations and medical aid, as well as specialist medical personnel, to many island countries in the Indian Ocean region.
It should be noted that this was not the first time Indian naval forces were involved in humanitarian relief efforts. Following the devastation caused by Cyclone Diane, Navy personnel launched ‘Operation Vanilla’ to help people in Madagascar. Our Navy’s INS Nireekshak assisted the Mauritian National Coast Guard in the search and salvage of the Mauritius Port Authority (MPA) Tug Sir Gaetan in September of last year.