74th Infantry Day: When the Indian Army landed in Srinagar to drive out Pakistani invaders
On October 27, 1947, troops of the 1st Sikh Infantry Battalion landed at Srinagar’s airfield
India observed the 74th ‘Infantry Day’ on Tuesday, a day which holds a special place in the history of the Indian Army as well as Independent India.
It is the day when Indian soldiers first landed in Kashmir in 1947 to save the Indian soil from Pakistan and raiders who invaded Kashmir, in what is called the very first military conflict of India with any other country as an independent country.
74 years ago, when India got its independence and Pakistan was formed, the then princely state of Jammu and Kashmir like nearly 580 others was given an option to choose between India and Pakistan. Kashmir’s Maharaja Hari Singh sought time to take a decision.
But then, on October 22, 1947, Jammu and Kashmir was attacked by raiders or tribal militia trained and armed by the Pakistani Army. Thousands of people were killed and countless others were injured as the invaderes unleashed acts like plundering, rape, looting and arson under their ‘Operation Gulmarg.’
Amid this, the Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession to India on October 26.
On October 27, the first Infantry contingent of Indian Army, the troops of the 1st Sikh Infantry Battalion landed at Srinagar’s airfield and launched an operation under Lt Colonel Dewan Rai who was awarded the 1st Mahavir Chakra for outstanding bravery and leadership.
On ‘Infantry Day,’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to honour the bravehearts. He wrote, “Greetings to all ranks of our courageous infantry on the special occasion of Infantry Day. India is proud of the role played by the infantry in protecting our nation. Their bravery continues to motivate millions.”
Greetings to all ranks of our courageous infantry on the special occasion of Infantry Day. India is proud of the role played by the infantry in protecting our nation. Their bravery continues to motivate millions. pic.twitter.com/R3GmvUcXhf— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 27, 2020
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane and Director General Infantry Lt General Jasbir Singh laid wreaths at the National War Memorial.
CDS, COAS and DG Infantry laid wreath at National War Memorial on occasion of 74th Infantry Day on 27 October 2020 pic.twitter.com/3tETX6NDCd— राष्ट्रीय समर स्मारक / NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL (@salute2soldier) October 27, 2020
The Indian Army also conveyed its best wishes to the nation on the occasion. It wrote on twitter, “General MM Naravane #COAS and all ranks of #IndianArmy convey best wishes to all ranks of #Infantry on the occasion of 74th Infantry Day.”
Lieutenant General PGK Menon, General Officer Commanding, ‘Fire and Fury’ Corps laid a wreath at the War Memorial in Leh. He paid homage to the soldiers who fought against the Pakistani raiders with utmost bravery.