(This was originally posted in The Tribune)
Captain Kailash Nath Zadu, who was part of the attack at Karachi harbor during the 1971 war with Pakistan, has died at his home in Bhuntar, Kullu district. He was 87 years of age and died following a cardiac arrest. He was awarded with a Vir Chakra, the third highest battle honour. During the 1971 war, Captain Zadu was Commanding INS Katchall which was part of flotilla of five warships tasked to bomb Karachi.
Named ‘Operation Trident’, it saw the Indian Navy launch an audacious attack from sea to bomb the Pakistani port city. The harbor and Keamari oil terminal were set ablaze and damaged, the Pakistani fleet never again ventured out to sea. Thereafter, the Indian Navy was in total control of the seas during the 1971 war. Naval historian Commodore Srikant Kesnur tweeted INS Katchall and INS Kiltan accompanied the main action force of ‘Op Trident’ INS Nipat, INS Nirghat & INS Veer. “That spectacular attack on Karachi on Dec 4 is etched in history,” he said. He was Cremated on 11th May.
WHAT WAS OPERATION TRIDENT ?
Operation Trident was an offensive operation launched by the Indian Navy on Pakistan’s port city of Karachi during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Operation Trident saw the first use of anti-ship missiles in combat in the region. The operation was conducted on the night of 4–5 December and inflicted heavy damage on Pakistani vessels and facilities. While India suffered no losses, Pakistan lost a minesweeper, a destroyer, a cargo vessel carrying ammunition, and fuel storage tanks in Karachi. Another destroyer was also badly damaged and eventually scrapped.