Every Indian must know what happened on THE NIGHT OF 4 Dec 1971.
INS implies Indian Naval Ship.
PNS, Pakistan Naval Ship.
Operation Trident (in 8 lines), What Happened that Night?
- Karachi Port was the Pakistan Naval Headquarters and where they had their entire Naval Fleet. This was also a hub for their international trade.
- After the war was declared on 3 Dec 71, on 4 Dec Three Veer class Missile boats (Lieutenant commander OP Mehta, VrC, NM) with limited operational and radar range, Two Arnala-class anti-submarine corvette – INS Kiltan(Lieutenant Commander BN Kavina, VrC) and INS Katchall (Lieutenant Commander IJ Sharma, AVSM, Vrc), and a fleet tanker – INS Poshak were then used to form the task force that would take Karachi Port under the command of Commander Babru Bhan Yadav.
- Since these missile boats were designed by Russians for coastal defence and patrolling, they were towed to a position near Karachi Port.
- At 10.15 pm IST, INS Nirghat made contact with the Pakistan Naval Ship Khaiber and launched two missiles in a row that first crippled its propeller and sunk it in the next.
- At 10.45 pm IST, INS Nipat fired two missiles – one at a merchant vessel ‘Venus Challenger’ carrying ammunition that immediately caught fire and sank and the other at her escort Destroyer ship – PNS Shah Jehan.
- At 10.50 pm IST, INS Veer fired a missile at Pakistan’s minesweeper PNS Muhafiz that went down before it could even send a distress signal with 33 of their men.
- The missile boats with limited operational capabilities were withdrawn and INS Nipat continued towards Karachi Port.
- INS Nipat placed itself 14 nautical miles away from Karachi port and fired two missiles at the Kemari Oil storage tanks setting the entire Karachi Port ablaze that had the fire burning for next four days and was a major setback to their Naval war efforts.
- Operation Trident was followed by Operation Python (8/9 Decmber) with Indian Air force attacking once on Karachi that rendered the Pakistan Navy useless thereafter.
This victory at sea on 4 December 1971 is celebrated till date as Navy Day.
“The Pakistanis were so baffled and scared of presence of Indian Navy that on 6 December a false alarm was raised by a Pakistan Navy aircraft that reported a Pakistan Navy frigate as a missile boat by Indian Navy.
The Pakistan Navy requested their Air force to launch attack on that supposed Indian ship. At 06.15 am (IST), Pakistani fighter jets caused severe damages and causalities to Pakistan Navy’s own frigate PNS Zulfiqar.
And after Operation Python on 8/9 December, they were ordered not to sail out in sea at night lest they should meet the same fate other Pakistan Naval Ships met.”
Sham No Varuna.