The 72nd Accession Day of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India was on Saturday celebrated with gaiety and enthusiasm in Jammu, while Pakistan backed separatists ordered a shutdown in Kashmir against the Indian Army’s landing in Srinagar on this day in 1947 to chase away the Pakistani troops who were trying to capture Srinagar.
The Army also celebrated the Day as “Infantry Day” throughout the state with the main function being organised at Udhampur where the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GoC-in-C) of the Army’s Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh laid a wreath at the Dhruva Shaheed Samarak.
Crackers were burst and a 72 kg ladoo cut in Jammu to celebrate the day. Several organisations participated in these functions.
However, the Srinagar based separatists observed it as a day of “forcible occupation” of Kashmir by the Indian Army.
It was on October 27, 1947, that the 1st battalion of the Sikh Regiment commanded by Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Raj made the historic airlift to Srinagar for the defence of Kashmir with the first army aircraft landing at the Srinagar airport at 9.30 am. The Indian soldiers foiled the attempt of Pakistani infiltrators to capture the Srinagar airport.
The timely arrival of the Indian Army after the then ruler Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession with India changed the course of events.
Pakistan has not yet reconciled to the ground situation and has sponsored a proxy war in the Valley with top separatists Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Yasin Malik calling for ‘aazadi.’
The BJP, J&K High Court Bar Association, J&K Ex-servicemen League, Kashmiri Pandit Conference, Public Opinion Forum, Shaheed Brigadier Rajinder Singh Memorial Committee, Jammu West Movement, and various other organisations were in the forefront to celebrate the day.
Army spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, said that the 72nd Infantry Day was celebrated with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Dhruva Shaheed Samarak, Udhampur, by Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh. The Army Commander complimented all ranks of Infantry for their devotion to duty and indomitable spirit while working under trying and difficult conditions. He commended their tremendous contribution in maintaining the sanctity of the nation’s borders and fighting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
On Infantry Day, the supreme sacrifices made by the Indian Army in defending the honour and integrity of the nation were remembered by all. Major General Sanjay Singh, GOC, Tiger Division, laid a wreath at the Balidan Stambh and Tiger War Memorial in Jammu.