75th Infantry Day: The Indian Army celebrated its 75th Infantry Day on 27 October 2021.
- The traditional wreath laying ceremony was organized at the Dhruva War Memorial in Udhampur in presence of chief of staff, headquarters northern command Lieutenant General S Harimohan Iyer who participated on behalf of Army commander, northern command, Lt Gen Yogesh Kumar Joshi.
- The Infantry Day is observed as a remembrance of the first military operations carried out by independent India when the Indian army repelled the first attack on its soil on October 27, 1947 in the Kashmir valley.
- The victory was accomplished by the personnel of the First Battalion of the Sikh Regiment.
It was on 27th October that the first Indian infantry soldiers took part in an action to defend Indian territory from external aggression.
Instrument of Accession Agreement:
- On October 26, 1947 the then Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, signed an agreement called the ‘Instrument of Accession’, making his state a part of Indian dominion, and thus paving the day for Indian troops to be deployed in the state to fight against Pakistani invaders.
- On October 22, Pakistan had poured in thousands of regular soldiers in the grab of tribals as well as volunteers from the tribal areas of North West Frontier Province (NWFP) into J&K with the aim of forcibly occupying the state and integrating it into Pakistan.
Which troops were sent to J&K on October 27?
- On October 26, the first Indian battalion which was rushed to Srinagar by air was 1 Sikh Battalion, commanded by Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Rai.
- At this time, two of the four companies were stationed at Gurgaon and the rest were deployed away from Gurgaon to control the post-Independence Communal riots.
- The battalion was intimated late at night on October 26 to move to Palam airport in New Delhi for being airlifted to Srinagar airfield the next morning.
- Since 1 Sikh had only two companies available with it, one battery of 13 Field Regiment, an artillery regiment, was provided to it in infantry role.
- All these troops assembled at Palam airport in the early hours of October 27.
How was the airlift done on October 27?
In the early hours on October 27, the troops were airlifted from two Indian Air Force flights and the remaining five were from the private airlines.
Significance of the Airlift:
- Had 1 Sikh not been airlifted into Srinagar on time the airfield would have fallen into the hands of Pakistani invaders.
Victory over Pakistan Army and Lashkar invader:
- On October 27, the Battalion commanded by Lt. Col. Dewan Ranjit Rai landed in Srinagar.
- Lt. Col. Dewan Ranjit Rai first secured the Srinagar airfield and then rushed to Baramulla to stop the invaders in their tracks.
- He was successful in holding them and during this time, more reinforcements were sent to Srinagar via air route to push back the Pakistani invaders.
- Lt. Col. Rai laid down his life in this action and was posthumously awarded the second-highest gallantry award of the country, i.e., Maha Vir Chakra.
About the Infantry Unit of Indian Army:
- The Infantry Unit of Indian Army is the largest fighting arm of the Indian Army, also popularly known as the “Queen of the Battle”.
- Note: It is the infantryman who pushes the enemy out of his bunker and forces him to accept defeat; or, resolutely holds ground against the assaults of the enemy till the “last man last round”.
- Like all armies the world over, Infantry is the prime arm of the Indian Army and its soldiers bear the main brunt in any battle.
- The basic qualities of these brave men are physical fitness, aggression and discipline.
- The Infantry units of the Indian Army have been modernized, equipped and trained to make the Indian Army amongst the best in the world.