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Celebrating 51 years of Chachro raid- India’s most daring surgical strike in Pak

“51 years ago, on this day, the brave soldiers of the 10 Para Special Forces infiltrated enemy territory in a daring desert raid under the leadership of Late HH Brigadier Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh, MVC and captured the outpost of Chachro in Pakistan.”

During the 1971 war on the Western Front, 10 PARA (Commandos) conducted an operation to bombard Pakistan 70-80 kilometers into its interior, a special forces operation unparalleled in history. It can also be considered India’s first and most daring surgical strike. A series of raids were carried out across the international border by 10 PARA SF. Specifically, the mission was to assist Indian Army operations and weaken Pakistan's Line of Communication beyond Barmer Sector, Rajasthan.

The raids were conducted in the early hours of December 7, 1971, when men from 10 PARA divided into two separate units: Alpha and Charlie led by Late HH Brigadier Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh infiltrated deep inside enemy territory and carried out raids on enemy positions at Chachro and Virwah located in Sindh province of Pakistan.

The team traveled over 50 km inside enemy territory, hitting Pakistani positions. The Alpha team led by Brig. Abraham Chacko attacked Chachro, where most enemies fled their positions, thinking that their approaching Jongas were none other than enemy tanks.

Despite having superior numbers and positions, the speed and ferocity of these attacks forced enemies to panic and flee.

For 96 hours, 10 PARA SF (aka Desert Scorpions) ravaged Pakistan. The raids were led by the legendary, then Lt. Col. Swai Bhawani Singh (Maharaja of Jaipur), 10 Para (SF). According to some sources, he prepared for this raid for 6 months.

During the raids, Pakistan lost 36 men, and 22 were taken as PoW with a huge number of small arms. For this successful operation, 10 Para (SF) received a well-deserved Battle Honor – Chachro 1971 and received 10 gallantry awards while the CO, then Lt. Col. Swai Bhawani Singh (Maharaja of Jaipur), 10 Para (SF) received Maha Vir Chakra, the second highest gallantry award.

So thorough and accurate was CO Bhawani Singh battle planning and execution that the 10 Para (SF) captured Chachro, Virawah, Nagarparkar, Islamkot, Lunio without a single causality.

The 10 PARA SF is now also known as “Mustaffa Of Desert Warfare.” The unit was raised in 1967 by splitting 9 Para (SF). The 10 PARA SF took part in the 1971 war within 4 years of being raised, and took part in one of the most successful commando missions in history, called the Chachro raid. This operation is still a case study for many special forces across the world.

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