The Platinum Jubilee of Poonch Link-Up Day that marks the Operation Easy conducted by Indian Army in 1948 to defend the border district from the invading Pakistani raiders was celebrated on Tuesday with traditional gaiety and fervor by civilians and Indian Army in district Poonch of Jammu division.
“Poonch withstood a siege by the Pakistanis from November 1947 till relieved by the Indian Army. The day marks the historic link up carried out by Brigadier Pritam Singh’s forces with Brigadier Yadunath’s forces from Rajouri at Danna Ka Pir on 21 November 1948.”
A slew of events were conducted in the run-up to the historic day.
To involve the aspiring youth of Poonch, sporting events such as Poonch Volleyball Championship, Hockey Tournament for Girls and Boys, Cricket, Football and Taekwondo educational and artistic events such as Painting and Singing Competition as part of the Talent Hunt were organised.
For the people of remote areas, various other events were also held such as Blood Donation Camp, Eye camp, Mobility Equipment distribution camp and Artificial Limb Measurement & Fitment camp. To make the Army and Awaam bonding more strong, Poonch Mela, Mandi Mela, BSF Band display, Musical concert by Kabul Bukhari, Sarpanch meet and Guided tour for school students of 22 schools of Poonch under the guidance of NCC Cadets were organised.
Remembering the supreme sacrifice of the soldiers and citizens of the region defending Poonch, Lt General Upendra Dwivedi, GOC-in-C Northern Command, Lt General Manjinder Singh, GOC White Knight Corps and other senior military and civil dignitaries laid the wreath and paid tributes at Namansthal War Memorial.
Local residents of the area including a large number of serving and retired Army personnel, members of civil administration and students were present to witness the event.
Later in the day, a series of events including release of balloons, lighting of lamp, documentary on Poonch Link-Up Day, cultural program, kaleidoscope kept the crowd spellbound at the Natu Auditorium.
The Army Commander Northern Command interacted with Veer Matas , Veer Naris , War Heroes of 1965 & 1971 War along with the winners of sports events , school students & beneficiaries of artificial limbs fitment .
The General Officer in his address, expressed his gratitude to the locals for their contribution in bringing peace and astounding success which the Army could not have achieved without their support.
“Army and Civil Administration are conscious of the remoteness of the area and hardships of the people and it is our moral obligation to provide succor,” he said.
The Army Commander appreciated the overwhelming response and support of Awaam and all troops of Poonch Brigade under Ace of Spades Division to make the Poonch Link-Up Day a grand success.