Why is it in the news?
- Operation Polo marks its 75th anniversary on September 13, 2023, commemorating the military action to integrate Hyderabad into India.
About Operation Polo
- The Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Shah, initially intended to keep his state independent after India’s Independence in 1947.
- Hyderabad signed a standstill agreement with India in November 1947, maintaining the status quo until a resolution was reached.
- Operation Polo was launched on September 13, 1948, as the Nizam’s administration increased its irregular force, the Razakars, and posed a threat of secession.
- Hyderabad state forces numbered around 25,000, with only a fraction well-trained, while the Indian Army led by Maj Gen Jayanto Nath Chaudhuri conducted the operation.
- The primary strike from the west included 1 Armoured Division, a Smash Force, a Kill Force, and a Vir Force.
- Other thrusts came from the north, east, and south of the state.
- The Nizam announced a ceasefire on September 17, and on September 18, Maj Gen Chaudhuri entered Hyderabad city, and Maj Gen El Edroos surrendered.
- Havildar Bachhitar Singh was posthumously awarded the first Ashoka Chakra of Independent India for his role in Operation Polo.