Tribune News Service
Kolkata, October 4
The ongoing standoff between India and China on the northern border formed the perfect backdrop for celebrating the raising day of Indian Army’s IV Corps (a.k.a. Gajraj Corps) in the east.
The Tezpur-headquartered IV Corps was raised by the late Lt Gen B M Kaul in the middle of the Indio-China war of 1962.
Even though no Ladakh-like situation has been reported from the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh guarded by the troops of IV Corps, the soldiers have to remain alert to incursions by the Chinese PLA.
The IV Corps did have some tense moments last month when five Arunachali boys, hired by the army as porters, were taken into custody by the Chinese PLA. The boys were later released after the Army contacted the PLA.
On the occasion of the raising day of the formation, Lt Gen Shantanu Dayal, GOC, paid homage to those who made the supreme sacrifice. Gen Dayal complimented all ranks for their dedication and devotion to duty be it while carrying out counter insurgency operations in Assam or when deployed along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh.
The IV Corps’ finest hour was when its troops made the famous advance to Dhaka during the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. They were the first Indian soldiers to reach Dhaka during the war. The ‘Meghna Heli Bridge Operation’ successfully carried out by the IV Corps during the 1971 war had stunned military commanders across the world. The then Corps Commander, Lt Gen Sagat Singh used Mi-4 helicopters to airlift troops across the Meghna River of Bangladesh bypassing Pakistani defences. An entire brigade was flown across the mighty river in this fashion.
“The Meghna Heli-bridge on December 9 along with the Tangail Airdrop on December 11 foxed the Pakistani military and paved the way for the capture of Dhaka by the Indian Army”, Lt Gen J R Mukherjee (retd), who held multiple command positions under the IV Corps in the North East region, told the Tribune.
Troops from IV Corps have also participated in operations inside Bhutan to flush out ULFA and Bodo militants from their hideouts in the forests of the Himalayan kingdom.