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Landing of Indian Army in Srinagar in 1947 to save J&K from Pakistan invasion re-enacted

The Budgam landings are the first military operations of Independent India, when Indian Army was inducted by Indian Air Force at Budgam Airport on 27 October 1947.

SNS | Jammu |

Historic landing of the Indian Army in Kashmir 75 years ago on 27 October 1947 to save Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan invasion after Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession with India was on Wednesday re-enacted at Srinagar’s Old Airfield.

The Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha during the occasion unveiled the war memorial at Srinagar’s international airport.

As part of celebration for Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and 75th year of Air landed operations of Indian Army at Budgam Airport, a re-enactment of history covering the violation of ‘Standstill Agreement’ by Pakistan, brutalization by Pakistani forces of people of Jammu & Kashmir by unleashing rape, murder, looting and arson, followed by arrival of Indian Army to evict Pakistani Forces was carried out.

The Budgam landings are the first military operations of Independent India, when Indian Army was inducted by Indian Air Force at Budgam Airport on 27 October 1947. 1st 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 State Forces of Jammu & Kashmir and the Indian Army fought alongside valiantly, to evict Pakistani Forces, driving them out of most of Jammu & Kashmir till ceasefire on 5 January 1949.

The re-enactment of the historic event was organised to pay obeisance to the brave soldiers and people of Jammu & 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 event was witnessed by the 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. In addition, the next of kin of war veterans, Major Shivjit Singh Shergill (grandson of Lt. Colonel DR Rai, MVC), Rajesh Bhatia (younger son of Wing Commander KL Bhatia, CO 12 Squadron) and Amarjit Kaur Dhindsa (daughter of Jamedar Nand Singh, Victoria Cross & MVC), were facilitated.

27 October is celebrated as ‘Infantry Day’ by the Indian Army to commemorate the arrival of Indian Army at Budgam Airfield to protect Jammu & Kashmir after the ‘Instrument of Accession’ was signed on 26 October 1947 between Maharaja Hari Singh and the Republic of India.

‘Saviours of Kashmir’ war memorial at ‘Ground Zero’ of 27 October 1947 was dedicated by the Lt. Governor at Srinagar International Airport. The memorial commemorates the arrival of Indian Army in Indian Air Force aircrafts at Srinagar Airport in 1947 and the stellar role played by Major Somnath Sharma, Param Vir Chakra, Brigadier Rajinder Singh, Maha Vir Chakra and Maqbool Sherwani, the gallant son of Kashmir, in India’s historic victory in its 1st war after independence.

The memorial has been recently renovated to include the busts of Brigadier Rajinder Singh, Mahavir Chakra and Maqbool Sherwani, alongside the existing bust of Major Somnath Sharma, Param Vir Chakra, as a tribute to the invaluable contribution of the people of Jammu & Kashmir and erstwhile State Forces of Jammu & Kashmir in evicting Pakistani Army and tribal invaders.