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‘Someday, Pakistan occupied Kashmir will join India', says Air Force official on 75th 'Infantry Day'

SRINAGAR: The Indian Air Force and Indian Army on Wednesday commemorated the 75th ‘Infantry Day' when the Indian armed forces arrived in Srinagar to repel attacks from Pakistan, after Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) decided to join the Indian union.

It was on this day 75 years ago in 1947 that the air force first landed in Budgam to thwart Pakistani militants from entering the Indian territory to stoke up secessionist movement following the partition of India.

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

The Badgam landings were the first military operations of independent India when the Indian Army was inducted by the Indian Air Force at Budgam Airport on 27 October 1947, said the Indian army.

"On this historic occasion, on 75 years of Budgam landing, in which after the Instrument of Accession was signed, we moved in quickly our troops. Srinagar airfield was saved and thereafter we could launch a further offensive and push the Pakistan military, which came as kabailis, further back," Air Marshal Amit Dev said.

"I am sure, if the UN had not intervened, perhaps the entire Kashmir would have been ours. It was not only IAF and Army's participation in Budgam but there have been many small missions that have resulted in ensuring the freedom of free Kashmir. I'm sure someday PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) will join this part of Kashmir and we'll have whole Kashmir in years to come," he added.

The replication of the historic event was organised at Old Air Field to pay tribute to the 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 attended by Jammu & Kashmir 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.

"The first 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 Jammu & Kashmir and the Indian Army fought valiantly alongside to evict Pakistani Forces, driving them out of most of Jammu & Kashmir till ceasefire on 05 January 1949,'' said the Indian Army.

The Indian Army also unveiled a war memorial at Srinagar Airport.

The memorial commemorates the arrival of Indian Army in Indian Air Force at Srinagar Airport in 1947, and the role played by Major Somnath Sharma, Param Vir Chakra, Brigadier Rajinder Singh, Maha Vir Chakra and Maqbool Sherwani in India's historic victory in its first war after independence.

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