National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 24 November 2018
Indian Navy is celebrating 47th Navy Day on coming 4th of December to commemorate the courageous attack on the Karachi harbor during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. The war was started by Pakistan with preemptive aerial strikes on 11 Indian air force stations.
Indian Navy started it’s offensive codenamed ‘operation Trident’ next day on 4th of December. Indian Navy sank the Pakistan Navy’s destroyer PNS Khaibar and minesweeper PNS Muhafiz while damaging PNS Shah Jahan badly. In Indian operation 720 Pakistani sailors were killed.
But Indian Navy lost INS Khukri while 194 Indian sailors martyred. It was at this juncture Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Python’ on 9th of December. INS Vinaash led by commanding officer lieutenant commander Vijay Jerath set Karachi port ablaze in a very challenging operation amid his missile boat facing electrical failure.
It was pitch blank with the roar of the sea off the coast of Karachi as clock ticked 8 pm. Electrical failure put INS Vinaash on Batteries. The ship did not had radar data and the urgency of attack warranted Lt Commander Vijay Jerath to fire all four missiles on board the ship using batteries to attack Karachi port. Jerath was all up to the task but what happened next.
When the radar came back on, Lt Commander Jerath noticed that his missile boat had sailed off course. As he plotted the ship’s position and drew the course, the parallel ruler passed directly through the Kemari oil reserve facility. What happened next would thrill you fellow Indians and would send a chill through the spines of India’s enemies.
Lt Commander Vijay Jerath’s first missile attack on Kemari oil field broke the spine of Pakistan air force as now the Pakistani air force could fly the fighter’s only for next 3 days. Commander Jerath fired three more missiles. Surprisingly, during this attack, Pakistani sailors were hiding in a cluster of ships, what happened next, watch Commodore Jerath telling you this war story himself.
There were jubilations amongst all rank and files when Commanding Officer Vijay Jerath returned India safe with his tiny missile boat INS Vinaash after successfully destroying Karachi port.
Lt Commander Vijay Jerath was awarded Vir Chakra for his heroic deeds. He laughs when I asked for his reaction.
Commodore Vijay Jerath, the hero of 1971 Indo- Pak war sent message to Pakistan through his missiles that India does not attack any nation but if attack, it does what he did through operation Python. When asked Commodore Jerath has this message to Pakistan. Our neighbor Pakistan must listen him if Pakistan really wants to prosper.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.