India destroys records of 1971 war | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 10, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 10, 2010

India destroys records of 1971 war

India has destroyed most of the official records of the war with Pakistan in 1971 that led to the liberation of Bangladesh, leading Indian newspaper The Times of India reported yesterday.
The destroyed files include those on the creation of the Mukti Bahini, all appreciation and assessments made by the Indian army during the war period, the orders issued to fighting formations, and other sensitive operational details, according to the report published on the front page.
Quoting 'authoritative army sources' the report said all records of the period, held at the Eastern Command of the Indian army headquarters in Kolkota were destroyed immediately after the 1971 war. “This had remained secret until now,” the daily claimed.
At least two former chiefs of the Eastern Command and other senior army officers told the newspaper that the destruction might have happened when Lt General Jagjit Singh Aurora, the Indian army's commanding officer on the eastern front, had headed the Eastern Command.
“The sensational fact that the files were missing became known only recently when the Eastern Command was searching for details of the Mukti Bahini camps in order to organise a reception for Bangladeshi veterans,” the report said.
The Indian Army had housed the freedom fighters in different camps across India where army instructors trained them in warfare. Later, Mukti Bahini fighters were part of the operations led by the eastern command.
The newspaper quoting an unnamed senior army source as saying, “We were looking for the details of Mukti Bahini camps. We wanted to know where all were the camps, who were in charge etc. When those files were not available, the eastern army command launched a hunt for the records of the war. That is when we realised that the entire records are missing.''
Lt Gen (retd) JFR Jacob, who was chief of staff of the eastern command during the war and later its head, admitted the records were missing, when asked if these were true.
''When I took over as Eastern Army commander in August 1974 I asked to see the records. I was told that they have been shredded,'' he told the newspaper. He refused to discuss who ordered the destruction of the records.
The records of the Bangladesh Liberation War are significant as this operation is one of the great success stories of Indian intelligence and the army.

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