New Delhi: India handed over a four decade old vintage Dakota-3 aircraft to Bangladesh on Monday, which played an important role in Bangladesh's 1971 war of liberation and helped in formation of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF).
“Air Marshal S B Deo, AOC-in-C, Eastern Air Command, Indian Air Force, formally handed over the Dakota (DC-3) aircraft to Bangladesh Air Force,” a statement by the Indian high commission said here on Monday.
The aircraft was flown from New Delhi to Dhaka in a dismantled state in an IAF's C-17 Globemaster aircraft and then was re-assembled by IAF's technical team led by Wing Commander R Deshpande with the assistance of BAF.
It was installed at the Bangladesh Air Force Museum in Tejgaon in Dhaka at a lavish ceremony.
Dakota-3was a passenger plane till it was used for air dropping troops in Bangladesh's Tangail during the 1971 war, which is 96 kms from Dhaka on December 11, 1971.
It was modified to carry 500-pound bombs, however that was not required.
Fours days after the attack, Pakistan military surrendered to the India-Bangladesh Joint Command.
The Dakota aircraft has special significance for BAF as BAF started its journey from Nagaland, Dimapur on September 28 in 1971 with the establishment of ‘K' flight which possessed one Dakota DC-3, one Otter aircraft and one Alluette helicopter.
Dakota-3 was gifted to the Bangladesh Liberation Fighters by Maharaja of Jodhpur.