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1971 Indo-Pak war hero passes away
Retired Naval officer Commodore KP Gopal Rao, who destroyed the Karachi Port during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, passed away here on Monday.
His last rites were performed on Monday afternoon at the Besant Nagar crematorium in the city, defence sources said. Rao, who was awarded Manavir Chakra (MVC), led the Western Fleet, which carried out an offensive sweep on the enemy coast off Karachi on the night of December four, 1971.
‘’Notwithstanding the threat of enemy air, surface and submarine attack, Commander Gopal Rao led his task group deep into enemy waters. Despite heavy gunfire from enemy destroyers and at great risk to Indian ships and personnel, he resolutely pressed home a determined attack, sinking two enemy destroyers and one minesweeper,” the sources said.
‘’After the surface engagement with enemy warships, Commander Rao successfully bombarded the Port of Karachi, setting fire to oil and other installations in the harbour, thereby displaying conspicuous gallantry and outstanding leadership in the best traditions of the Indian Navy,’’ the sources said.
Rao was felicitated by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit and General-Officer-Commanding Dakshin Bharat Area Lt Gen A Arun in the presence of other senior dignitaries and family members on the occasion of Swarnim Vijay Varsh Celebrations (Commemoration of Golden Jubilee of 1971 War Victory on the arrival of ‘Swarnim Vijay Mashal’) organized by HQTRS DB Area of Indian Army here on July 22 this year.