Indian Army Infantry Day is celebrated on October 27 every year to pay homage to the soldiers who fought for the country and laid down their lives in the line of duty. To celebrate the 76th Infantry Day this year on October 27, soldiers are organising four simultaneous bike rallies from all cardinal directions, Wellington (Tamil Nadu), Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir), Shillong (Meghalaya), and Ahmedabad (Gujarat). The rally started on October 16 and will cover the travel across the country, culminating at the National War Memorial on Infantry Day.
Each group will have 10 bikers and will cover a cumulative journey of 8,000 km. The groups are spearheaded by the Maratha Light Infantry Regiment from Ahmedabad, Assam Regiment from Shillong, Madras Regiment from Wellington and Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regiment from Udhampur.
76th Infantry Day: History
- The date October 27 was chosen for the occasion as it was on this day that the first Indian infantry soldiers defended the country’s territory from external aggression.
- After the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, signed the instrument of accession, on October 26, 1947, the region became part of the Indian dominion. Soon, the first Battalion of the Sikh Regiment reached the Srinagar airbase to fight against Pakistani invaders.
- Pakistan’s regular soldiers had entered Jammu and Kashmir on October 22 disguised as tribals and volunteers from the tribal areas of North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The primary aim of the group was to forcibly occupy the state and integrate it with Pakistan.
- After the initial resistance by the state forces of J&K, Indian troops were called in to ward off the Pakistani invaders on October 27 after the Maharaja signed the instrument of accession.
- The first Indian battalion commanded by Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Rai was intimated on October 26 night. They moved from Gurgaon where they were stationed to Palam airport in New Delhi and were airlifted to Srinagar the next morning where they saved the airfield from the Pakistani invaders.
- After securing the Srinagar airfield, the Indian soldiers rushed towards Baramulla to stop the invaders in their tracks. Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Rai was able to delay the advance of the invaders towards Srinagar but laid down his life near Baramulla. He was posthumously awarded the second-highest gallantry award of the country, the Maha Vir Chakra, for his bravery.