by Editorial

Earlier this week, a team of 20 Indian Army cyclists of ‘Konark Corps’ embarked upon cyclothon from Jalipa to Myjlar in Western Rajasthan for a stretch of 220 km. The team was flagged off by Subedar Major Sagat Singh (Retd), a 1971 war veteran who took part in OPERATION CACTUS LILY. The complete cyclothon commenced on 26 November 2020 and is planned to cover a distance of 1,971 km and is being covered in a number of different stretches by different teams. The cyclothon commenced from Border Pillar 1175 in Kutch and will culminate at Longewala in Rajasthan on 5 December 2020 covering 1,971 km.

The team enroute halted at Barmer, where it payed homage at “Shaheed Chowk” to our fallen. Thereafter, the team move to Ramsar and Gadra towns, where they were greeted with great enthusiasm by locals. The people were made aware of Covid precautions and masks were distributed to those who were not wearing. Children were given national flags and sweets as also, veterans and senior citizens given sweets. The story and sacrifices of 1971 war were reiterated to the youth. They were reminded of the support and courage shown by their ancestors and senior citizens in 1971 war where they fought with the army by giving all possible administrative and morale support to the army.

At Gadra town, in addition to meeting the locals, the team paid homage to the “Shaheed Smarak” of Indian Railways. The “Smarak” reminded us of the sacrifices made by the 17 Indian railway workers in 1965 War, who inspite of heavy shelling by Pakistani Air Force, repaired the damaged portions of the railway track, thus ensuring continuous logistic supply line to our soldiers. The locals raised patriotic slogans and bid farewell to the cyclothon team which then moved to Munabao.The team thereafter reached Munabao, which has huge historical significance. Munabao has the last railway station at our borders and was the main base for deep offensive into enemy territory in 1971 war.

The Indian Army from Munabao, marched at lightning speed against all odds, 60 km inside enemy territory and captured a massive feature called “Parbat Ali” under “OP CACTUS LILY”. Fall of “Parbat Ali” threatened the important town of Naya Chor in Pakistan, thus breaking the morale of our adversary and paving way for a resounding victory. After interaction with locals and remembering our martyrs the team moved to its final location of Majlyar. The team ended its day and spread the message of patriotism, and showcased the undying spirit of the Indian Army soldier from whom nothing is impossible.

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