Indo-Pak War Hero Who Bombarded Karachi Port in 1971 No More

  • Commodore Kasargod Patnashetti Gopal Rao, a 1971 war hero and recipient of the Mahavir Chakra, breathed his last on Monday, said sources in the defence.
  • The sources earlier said he died on Sunday but later clarified that the death occurred today. He was 94. The naval veteran died of age-related illness and is survived by two daughters and a son.
  • Rao was a recipient of the Vishist Seva Medal also.
  • He played a key role in the war with Pakistan to liberate East Pakistan that is now Bangladesh.
  • Rao led a small task group of the Western Fleet and launched an offensive off the coast of Karachi as part of Operation Cactus Lily.
  • Notwithstanding the threat of air, surface and submarine attack, he led the group into enemy waters on the night of December 4, 1971.
  • Despite the gunfire from the enemy posing a grave risk to Indian ships and personnel, Commander Rao pressed on and sunk two destroyers and a minesweeper.
  • After the surface engagement, he bombarded the port of Karachi and torched the oil and other  installations there.
  • Source :


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