Do you have plans to visit Kendrapara, if yes, then now you can catch glimpse of glorious history of India’s military might in Kendrapara Autonomous College.
A T-55 battle tank that was used by Indian Army in the Bangladesh liberation war now rests on the college campus as a war trophy.
The armoured combat vehicle was obtained by the college authorities from the Directorate of Ordnance Services, Army Headquarters after approval and recommendation of former Chief of Army Staff and incumbent Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat.
“The Soviet-tank, used in 1971 Indo-Pak war played a pivotal role in India’s victory. We will construct a proper pedestal on the campus to display the trophy,” said the Principal of the college Rajendra Tripathy.
The college administration informed that they had to submit Rs 14,000 including transportation charges to shift the iconic war machine.
“We welcome the initiative taken by college authorities, students will learn more about India’s war history through this souvenir,” said a local resident.
As per sources, the T-55, which weighs 37 tonnes, was the most robust and sturdy battle tank designed by the Soviet in the post Second World War period.
It came with a 100 mm calibre gun, two 7.62 calibre machine guns and one 2.7 mm anti-aircraft gun. Boasting a height of 9 feet, 27.6 feet in length and 10.8 feet in width, the tank was also enabled with night vision and protection from nuclear, biological and chemical explosions.
The tank was inducted into Indian army in 1968 and extensively used in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
Sources said the T-55s destroyed as many as 58 Pakistani tanks in the 1971 war. Between 1960 and 1980, the tanks caused a great deal of panic among the Pakistani Army on the border. The tanks served the country for around 40 years before decommissioning in 2011.
Narrating her experience of witnessing the mighty war machine, an NCC cadet said, “Many of us saw these tanks only in TV, now we are proud to have it with us. It will boost the morale of youths to join the Indian Army.”
(By Somatirtha Purohit)