Shamshernagar freed today

Today (December 7 in 1971), ‘Kilo Flight’ conducted many operations against Pakistan occupation forces with helicopter and other aircraft and caused extensive damage and confined many of them in different areas, according to Captain Shahab who played a crucial role in the operations.

Shamshernagar was freed today. Kilo Flight also extended big support to the advancing Mitro Bahini and Mukti Bahini to proceed towards Dhaka. Indian army was setup at Tea Research centre at Shamshernagar. Sqn Ldr Sultan Mahmud Bir Uttam and I were requested to meet General Krishna Rao at Shamshernagar Headquarters to discuss some important matters with him at 9pm, Capt Shahab narrated.

Accordingly, we arrived there in time. On reaching there, we were informed that due to communication lapses it could not be confirmed whether Sylhet was liberated or not. Since I was an airlines pilot with Pakistan International Airlines, the whole area was familiar to me. So I was assigned with the responsibilities to go to Sylhet to observe the situation. Accordingly, we made the departure for Sylhet early in the morning, he recalled.

Eastern Command operations in-charge of Indian Airforce Group Captain Chandan Singh and Flight Lieutenant CM Singla was also with me as part of our crew combination, Shahab continued. At around 6am in the morning when we were about to touch down for landing in Sylhet, we were fired upon from the bunkers, and bullets were passing through all around our helicopter. We immediately pulled up to go out of the bullets range, attacked them with our French Matra rockets and machine gun firings caused extensive damage to Pakistan army positions and came back safely to Kailashahar airport but we had about 15-20 bullets hit in our helicopter, he maintained. After that the matter was reported to the Indian Army authorities accordingly, to update the actual situation.