Explained: October 27 being celebrated as Infantry Day

Indian Army landing in Kashmir in 1947
Indian Army landing in Kashmir in 1947File/GK

Srinagar: Today is 76th Infantry Day and the day will be observed at Army establishments across the country with special focus in Kashmir where Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and LG Manoj Sinha will be participating besides senior Army, police and civil administration officials here at Old Air Field.

During the day homage will be paid to the thousands of infantry soldiers who have laid down their lives in the line of duty.

Infantry Day is celebrated as a remembrance of the first military event of independent India, when the First Battalion of the Sikh Regiment of Indian Army fought battle to accomplish victory over the first attack on the Indian soil by the Pakistan Army and Lashkar invader on October 27, 1947, in the Kashmir valley, who tried to grab J&K.

Infantry is the largest fighting arm of the Indian Army, also popularly known as the “Queen of the Battle”, it is the backbone of the Indian Army and its soldiers bear the main brunt in any battle. Physical fitness, aggression and discipline are the basic qualities required in these men. The Infantry units of the Indian Army have been modernized, equipped and trained to make the Indian Army amongst the best in the world.

The Sikh regiment had only two companies available at that time, one battery of 13 Field Regiment, an artillery regiment, was provided to it in an infantry role.

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. 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, Maha Vir Chakra.

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