Here’s an account of Battle of Gazipur


For Me and my Battalion, 4/5 Gorkha Rifles (FF) Fondly called Sylhet Gurkhas, Nov and Dec 71 have a great significance. Sylhet Gurkhas crowned itself with glory; in 26 days (20 Nov to 15 Dec 71) it fought three epic battles of 71 War in Bangladesh. Battle of Gazipur on 4/5 December 71 was second battle after Khukri Assault at Atgram on night 20/21 Nov 71.
Battle of Gazipur was the fiercest battle of 71 War with dogged determination of 22 Baluch of Pakistan Army but blunted by equally determined Sylhet Gurkhas. Here is an account of the #BattleofGazipur.


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The #BattleofGazipur took place at the Gazipur Tea Estate near Kalaura, in Sylhet District of then East Pakistan on night 4/ 5 Dec 1971 and was a prelude to the Battle of Sylhet.
By 27 November 1971, 4/5 GR [FF] as part of the 8th Mtn Div had concentrated at Kadamtal closer to border,opposite Kalaura, a communications centre and rail head to Sylhet, The area was dotted with hills with tea gardens; alongaxis to Sylhet, final objective of 8 Mountain Division . 22 Baluch at Kalaura {Pakistani 313 Infantry Brigade} had deployed a Coy plus platoon each of Scouts and EPCAF at Gazipur, with augmented firepower and artillery support and defences with bunkers at Gazipur Tea Factory, Manager’s Bungalow and High Ground in North with Banana Plantation, called Kela-Ka-Bagicha. On 3 Dec 1971, 6 Rajput attack was repulsed and 4/5 GR [FF] tasked to capture Gazipur on night 4/5 Dec 1971. With failed attack previous night, Pakistanis with high morale had reorganized their defences based on built up area and bunkers The appreciated deployment at Gazipur was platoon plus each at Kela-Ka-Bagicha; Manager’s Bungalow with MMG’s; Factory; CoyHeadquarters, Platoon, Scouts and Reconnaissance and Support elements.. 4/5 GR [FF] planned capture of; Kela-Ka-Bagicha Delta Coy{Rawat- Rattan Kaul had been evacuated to MH on 25 Nov and rejoined Battalion on 8th Dec at Sylhet and seriously injured on 11 Dec); Manager’s Bungalow Alfa Coy{Rana}; Factory Bravo {V Rawat}and Charlie Coy{Malik} under CO 2 (Shyam Kelkar).

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Delta Coy led the assault, by 2030 hours reached Kela-Ka-Bagicha and came under heavy fire and in hand-to-hand fight captured Kela-ka- Bagicha but Coy Cdr and many more were killed/injured during the attack. Next objective,Manager’s Bungalow, instead of Alfa Coy Bravo Coy was employed from different direction, as wireless communication with Alfa Coy was lost.. However, Alfa Coy which had taken a detour, angled thrust from the rear side, while Bravo assaulted it from Kela-Ka-Bagicha side. Manager’s Bungalow was captured but Second-in-Command (Major Kelkar) who led the attack, was killed and Bravo Company Commanderinjured.


Image may contain: sky, tree and outdoorGAZIPUR TEA FACTORY LAST OBJECTIVE

The last objective, Tea Factory, had MMG covering Factory Gate. Charlie Coy{Malik} rushed through the gate, with Commanding Officer Lt Col A B Harolikar leading, assaulted and captured Factory. Seeing unsheathed Khukri’scharging them, Pakistanis manning MMG’s and other defences fled, leaving behind their dead and wounded.Gazipur Tea Estate had been captured and 22 Baluch battalion headquarters slipped away in panic from Kalaura to Sylhet.On 6th Dec 4/5 GR [FF] advanced to Kalaura and occupied it.Pakistani’s suffered heavy casualties; Approximately 30 Killed {15 dead bodies were found} and approximately 40 wounded. The Battalion casualties ; one officer- CO 2 (Major SG Kelkar) and 10 other ranks killed, 4 officers, two JCOs and 57 other ranks injured.
The assault gave impetus to IV Corps Plans and on 6th December Battalion was selected for First Ever HeliborneOperations in War for capture of Sylhet. GOC 8 Mountain Division gave his choice, 4/5 GR[FF] and told Corps Commander IV Corps; “In spite of heavy casualties in two successful attacks at Atgram and Gazipur, it is the best Battalion in my Division. It has great pride and spirit- de -corps; a feeling that nothing will deter and are prepared to make any sacrifice”
​The remark was just before the best was to come.


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Rattan Kaul