Srinagar: The army on Wednesday recreated some dramatic scenes of the first Indo-Pak war in Kashmir by enacting the landing of first Indian soldiers, who repulsed the Pakistani attack in 1947.
The re-enactment of historical Budgam landing to celebrate 75 years of induction of Indian army to save Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan invasion in 1947 was carried out at the airfield in Rangreth on the outskirts of the city here.
J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha; Air Officer Commanding-In-Chief, Western Air Command, Air Marshal Amit Dev; General Officer Commanding 15 Corps Lt Gen D P Pandey along with several other civil and military dignitaries were present on the occasion.
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, brutalisation by Pakistani forces on people of Jammu & Kashmir by unleashing rape, murder, looting and arson, followed by arrival of Indian Army on 27 Oct 1947 to evict Pakistani forces was carried out, a defence spokesman said.
He said the Budgam landings were the first military operations of Independent India when Indian Army was inducted by Indian Air Force at Budgam Airport on October 27, 1947.
The 1st SIKH, under 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 and Kashmir and the Indian Army fought alongside valiantly, to evict Pakistani Forces, driving them out of most of J&K till ceasefire on January 5, 1949, he said.
The spokesman said the re-enactment of the historic event was organised to pay obeisance to the brave soldiers and people of J&K who laid down their lives, and also to honour the next of kin of war heroes who participated in the 1947-48 War.
October 27 is celebrated as ‘Infantry Day’ by the Indian Army to commemorate the arrival of Indian Army at Budgam Airfield to protect J&K after the ‘Instrument of Accession’ was signed on October 26, 1947 between Maharaja Hari Singh and the Republic of India.
On the occasion, the Army displayed the Dakota DC-3, which carried the first forces personnel to the valley after the attack to the then dusty, little (600-metre) airstrip here.
An AN-32 aircraft, which carried the 1-Sikh regiment to the valley, was also displayed. A demonstration of insertion and extraction of soldiers by four paratroopers was also carried out on the occasion.
Air displays by advance light helicopters, M17 and Sukhoi-13 aircrafts also took place as a salute to the bravehearts.
Earlier, J&K LG dedicated the Saviours of Kashmir’ war memorial at Ground Zero’ of October 27, 1947 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 Jenab Maqbool Sherwani, the gallant son of Kashmir, in India’s historic victory in its first war after independence, the spokesman said.
He said the memorial has been renovated to include the busts of Brigadier Singh, Mahavir Chakra and Sherwani, alongside the existing bust of Major Sharma, as a tribute to the invaluable contribution of the people and erstwhile state forces of J&K in evicting Pakistani Army and tribal invaders.