Infantry Day: CDS, Army Chief Pay Respects At The War Memorial
In a poignant ceremony to mark Infantry day, the Chief Of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat accompanied by the Army Chief General MM Naravane, all Army Commanders and all Colonel-Commandants of the Regiments present in Delhi, laid a wreath as a mark of respect at the National War Memorial (NWM) on Tuesday morning.
Notably, troops of the battalion which held back the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Rezang La during the India-China war in 1962, watched the ceremony with pride.
The 13th battalion of Kumaon regiment is nowadays on duties at the NWM. One of the epic fightbacks in warfare was scripted by the battalion at the battle of Rezang La. The Battalion’s ‘C-company’– some 120 soldiers– led by Major Shaitan Singh had held back the PLA from capturing Chushul and also the Dungti-Leh road. Major Singh was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry honour of the country.
Rezang La top is part of the 70 km frontage in South Pangang Tso which was occupied by Indian troops in late August as part of countermeasures to push back the PLA in the ongoing border tensions.
Infantry day is observed on Oct 27 to mark the landing of Indian Army troops at Srinagar airfield in 1947. This was a day after the Maharaja of Kashmir signed the instrument of accession.
What made the ceremony unique was that the Army Commanders were present at the ongoing Commanders conference in New Delhi and they joined in. Also, this was the first time that the CDS – the office was established in January this year — was laying a wreath on infantry day. The NWM is at the India Gate in central Delhi.