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Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora

Then Aurora stripped Niazi's insignia of rank of his shoulders - it is the custom", he said. "The Pakistan troops who had arms laid them down. Aurora was raised on the shoulders of the crowd and every Indian officer was mobbed by people throwing flowers".

(Peter O. Loughlin in THE TIMES, London - December 17, 1971)

“Aurora will be remembered in the history of Bangladesh for his contribution during our war of liberation in 1971, when he led the allied forces.”

(Mohamed Morshed Khan, the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister – May 3, 2005)

“He was just like me. He was a first class soldier who did a first class job.”

(Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw)

Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora, defeated Pakistan in a 13-day war that led to the creation of the state of Bangladesh, a war hero in his time, Aurora was Eastern Commander during the 1971 War and was instrumental in getting the Pakistan forces in Bangladesh to surrender in full strength. He accepted Pakistan’s surrender at one of India’s most historically memorable moments on December 16, 1971, in Dhaka.

He will always be remembered in India and Bangladesh because of a single photograph that appears in history textbooks. It shows the turbaned Sikh general impassively taking the surrender of the tearful Pakistani commander, General A. A. K. (“Tiger”) Niazi.

Aurora had planned, made strategies and tactics, ensured faultless co-operation among his forces, and readily adopted new strategies at several occasions when the situation demanded it, and had managed to discipline and gain total confidence of his men. It was an ultimate cocktail that routed Pakistan and gave way to the formation of modern day Bangladesh.

His nephew Gurpreet Singh Bindra, who lived with the General in Kolkata during the war said “He retired with no airs, no request for special posts, nothing. He had a doting family, a wife he loved very much. He was happy to return quietly into normal life and let the Army’s new commanders run the show as they rightly should.”

Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora was born on February 13, 1916. He died on May 3, 2005, aged 89.

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