Jammu & Kashmir Rifles
|Jammu & Kashmir Rifles|
The Regimental Insignia of the Jammu & Kashmir Rifles
Indian Empire 1821-1947India 1947-Present
("Valour in Battle is Praiseworthy")
|War Cry||Durga Mata Ki Jai
("Victory to Goddess Durga")
|Regimental Insignia||An oval embracing the sun, the State emblem. The Sanskrit inscription around the sun, which cannot be read on the regimental insignia above, translates as, "Ever Victorious in War"|
The Jammu & Kashmir Rifles is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army. The Jammu & Kashmir State Forces were the only former Princely State Forces of India to be absorbed into the Indian Army as a distinct and separate Regiment. In 1963, the designation was changed to Jammu & Kashmir Rifles. After the conversion, the Ladakh Scouts came under the aegis of the Regiment, where it remained until raised as a separate Regiment in 2002.
The Jammu & Kashmir Rifles has a unique regimental history. It was not raised by the British but by an intrepid Indian ruler called Gulab Singh in 1821. Gulab Singh was one of the ablest Generals of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and later became the ruler of the Jammu and Kashmir state.
The Sikhs ruled Kashmir until their defeat by the British. Thereafter, Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu paid Rs. 75 lakhs to the East India Company in 1846 in exchange for Kashmir and some other areas under a treaty later named as Treaty of Amritsar. Jammu and Kashmir as a single entity was unified and founded by Maharaja Gulab Singh on 16 March 1846. Zorawar Singh, a General in the Dogra Corps of the Khalsa Army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, later led daredevil campaigns in northern areas like Ladakh, Baltistan, Gilgit, Hunza and Yagistan, consolidating smaller principalities and making the northern areas a part of the expanding dominions of Maharaja Gulab Singh. Zorawar Singh mounted a breath-taking invasion of Tibet in 1841.
The Maharaja of Kashmir maintained a larger number of State Forces than any other ruler of an Indian State under the British Raj. These forces were organized into the Jammu and Kashmir Brigades. They comprised one Bodyguard Cavalry regiment, two Mountain Batteries, seven active and one training battalions of Infantry and a Transport unit consisting of both pack and mechanized transport. Several of these units served with distinction on the North-West Frontier of India and overseas during the Great War. The state forces fought as Imperial Service Troops in both the First and Second World Wars (under their own native officers). They distinguished themselves in East Africa, Palestine and Burma.
Kashmir War of 1947
The regiment's grimmest hour came during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947. It was their heroic stand that gained time for the entry of the Indian Army and thus saved the Kashmir Valley. It may not be out of place to mention that the Indian people largely owe the State of Jammu and Kashmir to the heroic defensive stand made by the outnumbered and ill-equipped, but highly motivated, J&K State Force. They paid a steep price in blood and sacrificed over 76 officers, 31 JCOs and 1085 Other Ranks. For their gallant stand they earned three Maha Vir Chakra, 20 Vir Chakras and 52 Mentioned in Despatches. Later the Jammu and Kashmir State Force was absorbed en bloc into the Indian Army as a separate regiment.
UN Peacekeeping Operations
Much of the Army's Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry and Jammu and Kashmir Rifles Regiments are made of recruits from the districts of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur, and Reasi, while other districts like Poonch, Rajouri, Doda and Kishtwar also contribute . Soldiers from Himachal Pradesh and Punjab also contribute to the ranks.
- Defence of Chitral
- The Great War: Megiddo, Sharon, Nablus, Palestine 1918, Kilimanjaro, Beho Beho, East Africa 1914-17
- The Second World War: Kennedy Peak, Defence of Meiktila, Burma 1942-45
- Punch, Skardu, Jammu and Kashmir 1947-48, Battle of Asal Uttar, Punjab 1965
- Shyam Ganj, East Pakistan 1971
- Point 5140, 4875, Rocky Knob during Kargil War 1999.
Note: Pre-1948 honours inherited from several battalions of Kashmir State Forces.
- Captain Vikram Batra, 13th Battalion - Kargil, 1999
- Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, 13th Battalion - Kargil, 1999
- 1 × Padma Bhushan
- 2 × Ashok Chakras
- 3 × Param Vishisht Seva Medals
- 6 × Maha Vir Chakras
- 11 × Kirti Chakras
- 4 × Ati Vishist Seva Medals
- 34 × Vir Chakras
- 21 × Shaurya Chakras
- 1 × Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
- 97 × Sena Medals
- 2 × Yudh Seva Medals
- 31 × Vishisht Seva Medals
- 52 × Mentioned in Despatches
- 243 × COAS Commendation Cards
- 101 × Army Commanders Commendation Cards