The Indian Army and Indian Air Force celebrated the 75th ‘Infantry Day’ on October 27 when the Indian Armed Forces showed up to Srinagar to repel attacks from Pakistan after Jammu and Kashmir chose to join the Indian Union.
In 1947, on this day the air force first landed in Budgam Airfield to obstruct Pakistani militants from entering the Indian region to stir up secessionist development following the partition of India after the erstwhile king of J&K Maharaja Hari Singh signed the ‘Instrument of Succession’ with the Indian Union on October 26.
Someday, PoK will join India
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Air Marshal, Amit Dev said, “On this historic occasion, on 75 years of Budgam landing, in which after the Instrument of Accession was signed, we moved in quickly our troops. Srinagar airfield was saved and thereafter we could launch a further offensive and push the Pakistan military, which came as kabailis, further back.”
“I am sure, if the UN had not intervened, perhaps the entire Kashmir would have been ours. It was not only IAF and Army’s participation in Budgam but there have been many small missions that have resulted in ensuring the freedom of free Kashmir. I’m sure someday PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) will join this part of Kashmir and we’ll have whole Kashmir in years to come,” he added.
Replicating History at Old Air Field
The historic event was replicated at Old Air Field to pay tribute to the soldiers and people of Jammu and Kashmir who laid down their lives and also to honour the next of kin of war heroes who participated in the 1947-48 War.
“The first Sikh, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Dewan Ranjit Rai, who later laid down his life at Baramulla, changed the course of the war, wherein people and soldiers of Jammu & Kashmir and the Indian Army fought valiantly alongside to evict Pakistani Forces, driving them out of most of Jammu & Kashmir till ceasefire on 05 January 1949,” said the Indian Army.
The event was attended by Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Air Marshal Amit Dev, Air Officer Commanding-In-Chief, Western Air Command, Lieutenant General Devendra Pratap Pandey, General Officer Commanding 15 Corps along with several other civil and military dignitaries.
The Indian Army also unveiled a war memorial at Srinagar Airport. The memorial commemorates the arrival of the Indian Army in the Indian Air Force at Srinagar Airport in 1947, and the role played by Major Somnath Sharma, Param Vir Chakra, Brigadier Rajinder Singh, Maha Vir Chakra and Maqbool Sherwani in India’s historic victory in its first war after independence.