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|Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry|
Regimental Insignia of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry
|Garrison/HQ||Avantipur, Jammu & Kashmir|
|Motto(s)||Balidanam Vir Lakshanam (Sacrifice is a characteristic of the Brave)|
|War Cry||Bharat Mata Ki Jai (Victory to Mother India)|
|Lt Gen Satish Dua, SM, VSM|
|Regimental Insignia||A pair of crossed rifles|
The Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAK LI) is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army. The regimental center is in Srinagar's Airport Complex at Avantipur with a winter setup near Jammu. Its regimental insignia consists of a pair of crossed rifles. The regiment mostly consists of volunteers from the state of Jammu & Kashmir. 50% of the regiment's troops are Muslims while the rest represent other ethnic groups from the state.
In response to the Pakistani invasion of Kashmir in 1947, local militias were raised for specific sectors, such as Jammu, Leh, Nubra, etc. The militias were a paramilitary force under the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs and operated on the Line of Control. Following the Sino-Indian War of 1962, in 1963 the 7th and 14th Battalions of the J&K Militia were spun off to form the Ladakh Scouts.
The militias conducted themselves with great distinction during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 and earned 3 battle honours during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971. The troopers of the force felt strongly that they wanted the dignity and privileges of a regular army unit, especially keeping in mind their performance and sacrifice in the recent wars. Keeping this in mind, the then head of the J&K Militia, Brigadier Lekhraj Singh Puar of the Garhwal Rifles, who was on deputation to the Ministry of Home Affairs from the Indian Army, prepared and presented plans to the Ministry of Home Affairs for conversion of the militia into regular unit on his own initiative. These efforts bore fruit, and in 1972, the J&K Militia was converted to a full-fledged Army regiment as the Jammu and Kashmir Militia under the Ministry of Defence. Brigadier Puar went on to become the first Colonel of the Regiment. In 1976, the regiment was renamed as the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry.
The JAK LI has served with honour in numerous theaters.
In 1984, units of the JAK LI were deployed to the Siachen Glacier as part of Operation Meghdoot. The 8th battalion (8 JAK LI) earned great honour by capturing a Pakistani post at 21,000 feet on the Siachen Glacier in 1987. Naib Subedar Bana Singh earned the Param Vir Chakra for the regiment in this battle. He is the first and so far only recipient of the PVC for the regiment. Major (later Brigadier) V.S. Minhas and 2Lt. Rajiv Pande won a Vir Chakra for gallantry displayed during the same engagement.
In 1999, JAK LI earned honours in the Kargil War. The Chief of Army Staff made a special instant award of "Unit Citation" to the 12th battalion for their exceptionally gallant and sterling performance during the battles of Point 5203 on the night of 10/11 June 1999 and Point 4812 on the night of 30 June/1 July 1999 in Batalik. The overall performance of the battalion during Operation Vijay was exceptional and marked with exemplary valour and grit in the face of the enemy.
The following personnel of the JAK LI, have received the highest honors for gallantry: