Former chief of the Indian army's eastern command Lt Gen (Retd) JFR Jacob, who negotiated the surrender of Pakistani troops in Dhaka following the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, died today.
Jacob, who was 92, breathed his last today morning after prolonged illness, our New Delhi correspondent reports quoting Indian media.
Born in 1923 in what was then Bengal Presidency under British-ruled India, Jacob is best known for his role in the liberation of Bangladesh in December, 1971. Jacob, then a Major General, served as the Chief of Staff of the Indian Army's Eastern Command during the war.
Jack Jacob, who drafted the historic “instrument of surrender”, enlisted in the Indian army at the age of 19 in 1941 when it was under British command.
He also fought in World War II and the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 before he retired in 1978.
Paying tributes to Jacob, Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a message on his Twitter account saying “India will always remain grateful to him for his impeccable service to the nation at the most crucial moments."
Modi recalled that he and Jacob were often in contact and had a memorable interaction when he (Jacob) presented his autobiography to Modi.
During one of his visits to Bangladesh in 2008 on invitation of Chief of Army Staff Gen Moeen U Ahmed, Jacob reminisced what went down during the vital week of the war, saying it was the freedom fighters’ gallantry that liberated Bangladesh from Pakistani occupation and the full credit goes to them.
Looking back to the days in the lead-up to December 16, 1971, he spoke about his negotiations with Niazi on the instrument of surrender and the Pakistani general’s threat of revenge and submitting another person’s revolver as his own.
Recollecting the war stories, he told the press that the acts of valour of freedom fighters including the soldiers of the East Bengal Regiment won Bangladesh her independence.
Lt Gen (Retd) JFR Jacob also served as the Governor of Western Indian state of Goa and north Indian state of Punjab after retirement.