09 April 1965
Pakistan attacked the Rann of Kutch
On 9 April 1965, the Pakistan army attacked the Rann of Kutch and captured a police station. This event which was a precursor to the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965 led to the establishment of the Border Security Force (BSF).
- On 9th April, 1965, the 51 Brigade Group of the Pakistani army attacked the Sardar and Tak posts at the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. The attack was by about 3500 men and it was a full-fledged attack on Indian soil.
- This operation was codenamed ‘Operation Desert Hawk 1’ by the Pakistani army and it occurred at 3:00 AM.
- Pakistan justified this attack saying it was meant to “liberate” Kashmir.
- At that time, the border in Gujarat was manned only the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the State Police force of Gujarat.
- The jawans of the CRPF repulsed this attack courageously in a battle 15 hours long.
- 4 Pakistani soldiers were taken as prisoners and 34 of them were killed.
- A small company of Indian soldiers resisted a brigade of the Pakistani army valiantly.
- This battle is also important for another reason. After this event, the government decided it was not adequate if an armed police force were only to secure our borders. There was a need for a dedicated force for the borders with Pakistan which was specialised and controlled by the central government.
- Up to 1965, India’s border with Pakistan was manned by the State Armed Police Battalion. Accordingly, the Border Security Force (BSF) was formed in December 1965.
- Since it was set up, the India-Pakistan borders along the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat are guarded by the BSF. In Jammu & Kashmir, the LOC is manned by the BSF along with the Indian Army.
- The BSF also guards the Indo-Bangladesh border.
- The government has built a memorial at the Sardar Post to honour the memories of the Indian soldiers who lost their lives on April 9th defending the country against enemy attack.
Also on this day
1893: The ‘Father of Hindi Travelogue Travel literature’ Rahul Sankrityayan was born.
See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.