Monday, June 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Niazi’s weapon safe, says IMA
Tribune News Service & PTI

Dehra Dun, June 29
Mystery surrounding the disappearance of a weapon handed over by Pakistani Lieut Gen A.K.A. Niazi when his troops surrendered before the Indian Army in the 1971 Bangladesh war was cleared today with the Indian Military Academy (IMA) saying that the revolver was safe in its museum here.

“The revolver is safe and we have seen it only yesterday”, a top official of the IMA said on condition of anonymity, a day after it was reported that the weapon at the National Museum in Delhi had been stolen.

“It could be some other weapon which was stolen from New Delhi”, the official said.

A senior Army official in Delhi also denied that the weapon had been stolen.

“It is a proper service weapon of the Pakistan Army and it is a revolver, not a pistol and is in the safe custody of the IMA museum in Dehra Dun,” he said.

The stolen pistol which was exhibited at the Maritime Heritage Hall of the National Museum could be one of the weapons handed over by other Pakistani military officers during the mass surrender in Dhaka.

NEW DELHI: Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob told a TV news channel that he was sure that the weapon was not a pistol but a revolver and it had been placed at the Indian Military Academy’s (IMA) museum. Whereas Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora said that General Niazi had personally given him his “pistol” after signing the surrender agreement.

General Aurora also said the government had in fact taken the weapon from the IMA. The 88-year-old General who led the Army to force the surrender of more than 93,000 Pakistani troops during the 1971 campaign further added that he was posted in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and remembers taking the pistol to the IMA on their request.

But he later learned that the government took the pistol from the IMA as it wanted to put it at the war memorabilia on display in Delhi.

General Jacob further told the news channel that he had personally cleaned the service weapon of General Niazi which was handed over to him. He asserted that it was a revolver and not a pistol.

“I assert and confirm that it was a .38 calibre revolver and not a pistol,” General Jacob said. The General said he along with General Aurora was also present at the signing ceremony at the open ‘maidans’ at Dhaka and the revolver was handed over to him which he personally cleaned.

He further added that there was no contact between General Niazi and Admiral Krishnan, who was heading the Indian naval fleet during the operations. The confusion over the General Niazi’s weapon had also been compounded as Admiral Krishnan in his book ‘No Way But Surrender’ had specifically said the weapon surrendered was a pistol and that the weapon was now placed at the war memorabilia.

However, General Jacob said General Niazi was whisked away by him and General Aurora in a car from the ‘maidans’ after the signing ceremony as the large crowd present there was baying for his blood. On the other hand Admiral Sharief, who was leading the Pakistani Navy had been taken away by Admiral Krishnan.

Later Admiral Sharief had handed over his service weapon to Admiral Krishnan which General Jacob said was a pistol. He, however, said he was not sure whether it was a 7.62 bore pistol or not. Another senior Army officer who did not want to be identified said the weapon of General Niazi was a revolver and not pistol. He further added that the service weapon was safe at the IMA.


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