Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has extended greetings on the occasion of Infantry Day.

About ‘Infantry Day’

  • It was on this day that first Indian infantry soldiers took part in an action to defend Indian territory from external aggression.
  • On October 26, 1947 the then Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, signed 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.

Events

  • 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.
  • The initial resistance to the invaders was given by the state forces of J&K. On October 26, after the Maharaja signed the instrument of accession the way was paved for India to send in its troops and ward off the Pakistani invaders on October 27.
  • The first Indian battalion which was rushed to Srinagar by air was 1 Sikh, commanded by Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Rai. The battalion was at the time stationed in Gurgaon but out of its four companies two were deployed in aid to civil authorities role away from Gurgaon to tackle 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.
  • Had 1 Sikh not been airlifted into Srinagar on time the airfield would have fallen into the hands of Pakistani invaders. Appreciating the gravity of the situation, Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Rai first made sure that the Srinagar airfield was secured and then rushed towards Baramulla to take on the invaders and stop them in their tracks.

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