Jammu, Oct 27 (IANS) To mark the landing of the army in Jammu and Kashmir on October 27, 1947, on the request of then ruler Maharaja Hari Singh, the Indian army’s Udhampur based Northern Command celebrated the Infantry Day on Tuesday.
It was on this day in 1947 that the first company of the Sikh Regiment landed in Jammu and Kashmir to fight the state’s invasion by so-called tribesmen.
To mark the occasion, Lt. General D.S. Hooda, the General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-n-C) of the Northern Command, laid a wreath on the “Dhruva Shahid Smarak” in Udhampur in honour of the Infantry members who sacrificed their lives for the honour and safety of the country in Jammu and Kashmir, a defence spokesman told IANS in Jammu.
In his message,Lt.Gen Hooda applauded all Infantrymen for their devotion to duty and indomitable spirit while working under difficult conditions.
He acknowledged their contribution in maintaining the sanctity of Indian borders and in fighting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
Giving background of the day, the spokesman said: “October 27 is celebrated as Infantry Day by Indian army as it was on this day in 1947 that a company of Infantry of the first battalion of the Sikh Regiment landed from Delhi to Srinagar to liberate Kashmir from the invading tribals supported by the Pakistan Army.”
This action was ordered by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru after Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession, acceding Jammu and Kashmir to India.
“It was on October 27, 1947, that India as an independent nation first time engaged in operations against any aggression,”
the spokesman said.
“Infantry is the largest fighting arm of the Indian Army, also known as the ‘Queen of the Battle’.”
“On this occasion, it would be pertinent to recollect that Pakistan Army launched ‘Operation Gulmarg’ early in October 1947 using tribals to annex the state.”
According to the spokesman, the hostilities began early October 1947 when a tribal rebellion was instigated in Poonch district of Kashmir.
“By October 20, the Pakistani army entered the conflict with support of the tribal forces. On October 22, 1947, a Lashkar of 5,000 tribals invaded the Kashmir Valley from Abbottabad,” he said.
“On October 26, 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the ‘Instrument of Accession’ thus making Jammu and Kashmir an integral part of India, and the Indian Army was thereafter ordered to evict the invaders.”