GUWAHATI: The HQ 101 Area, which has the unique distinction of having taken part in active combat operations despite being a logistic formation, celebrated 60 glorious years of service to the nation in Shillong on Monday.
The 101 Communication Zone, as it was then called, was raised in 1963 in the aftermath of the Chinese aggression for providing logistic support to all formations and units in the Northeast.
It undertook counter-insurgency operations in Mizoram from 1966-69. During the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, it took part in operations in Sylhet and Mymensingh districts of erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
It was the first formation to reach Dhaka (then Dacca) on the morning of December 16, 1971 leading to surrender by Pakistan that afternoon, earning it the name “First in Dacca”.
“Over time, HQ 101 Area has evolved to provide logistic support in remote and challenging terrain in border areas across Northeast. It has contributed immensely in nation-building by aiding infrastructure development, providing humanitarian aid and ensuring outreach to remote villages,” a defence statement said.
The celebration on Monday commenced with a solemn ceremony to pay tributes to the bravehearts at the Shillong War Memorial by Army’s Eastern Commander Lt Gen Rana Pratap Kalita. Major General RK Jha, Officiating General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 101 Area and all soldiers also paid tributes.
Lt Gen Kalita complimented the soldiers for carrying forward the legacy of dedicated service. He flagged in a motorcycle rally organised by the HQ 101 Area.
The rally, flagged off on April 9 by Meghalaya Governor Phagu Chauhan, traversed through Meghalaya, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh celebrating the spirit of patriotism in the year of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
As a part of the celebration, a special cover and stamp was released and the busts of Maj Gen Gurbaksh Singh Gill and Maj Gen Gandharv Nagra were unveiled on Monday. The two, who were the GOCs of 101 Area, had helped curate the victory in the 1971 War.