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Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry

Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry
JAK LI Regiment Insignia.gif
Regimental Insignia of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry
Active 1947–present
Country India India
Branch Army
Type Light Infantry
Role Infantry
Size 15 battalions
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)
Decorations
  • 1 Param Vir Chakra (Subedar Bana Singh)
  • 2 Ashok Chakra
  • 10 Maha Vir Chakras
  • 34 Vir Chakras
  • 4 Shaurya Chakras
  • 56 Sena Medals.[1]
Commanders
Colonel of
the Regiment
Lt Gen Satish Dua, SM, VSM
Insignia
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.[2]

History

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.[2] 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.

Engagements

A JAK LI soldier guarding India Gate in New Delhi with an INSAS rifle.

The JAK LI has served with honour in numerous theaters.[3]

Siachen Conflict

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.[1] Major (later Brigadier) V.S. Minhas and 2Lt. Rajiv Pande won a Vir Chakra for gallantry displayed during the same engagement.

IPKF and Sri Lanka

In 1987, JAK LI units were deployed to Sri Lanka as part of Operation Pawan.

UN Peacekeeping in Somalia

In 1992–93, the 2nd battalion was deployed as a part of UNOSOM II, the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia.[4]

Kargil War

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.[4]

Units

  • 1st Battalion
  • 2nd Battalion
  • 3rd Battalion
  • 4th Battalion
  • 5th Battalion
  • 6th Battalion
  • 8th Battalion
  • 9th Battalion
  • 10th Battalion
  • 11th Battalion
  • 12th Battalion
  • 13th Battalion
  • 15th Battalion
  • 16th Battalion
  • 17th Battalion

Others[1]:

  • 7th Battalion is now 1st Battalion, Ladakh Scouts
  • 14th Battalion is now 2nd Battalion, Ladakh Scouts

Distinctions

Battle Honours

  • Laleali, Indo-Pakistani War of 1971[2][5][6]
  • Picquet 707, Indo-Pakistani War of 1971[2][6]
  • Shingo River Valley, Indo-Pakistani War of 1971[2]
  • Gutrain, Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

Gallantry Awards

The following personnel of the JAK LI, have received the highest honors for gallantry:

References

  1. ^ a b c [www.bharat-rakshak.com]
  2. ^ a b c d e Official Website of Indian Army. Indianarmy.nic.in. Retrieved on 2011-03-21.
  3. ^ [1] Archived June 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b Pike, John. "Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry [JAKLI]". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  5. ^ WAR MEMORIAL AT LALEALI : Honey Vinay blogs on sulekha, Current Affairs blogs, Honey Vinay blog from india. Vinayk.sulekha.com (2007-04-25). Retrieved on 2011-03-21.
  6. ^ a b Chand N. Das (1997). Hours of Glory: famous battles of the Indian army, 1801–1971. Vision Books. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Official Website of Indian Army. Indianarmy.nic.in. Retrieved on 2011-03-21.