Naga Regiment

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Naga Regiment
Naga Regiment Insignia.gif
The Regimental Insignia of the Naga Regiment
Active 1970–present
Country India India
Branch Army
Type Line Infantry
Role Infantry
Size 3 battalions
War Cry Jai Durga Naga (Hail Durga Naga)
Decorations 1 Maha Vir Chakra, 4 Vir Chakras, 1 Yudh Seva Medal, 1 Vishist Seva Medal, 10 Sena Medals[1]
Insignia
Regimental Insignia A pair of crossed Naga spears and a doa (a cutting weapon used in Nagaland), with a shield bearing a mithun (bull) head.[2]

The Naga Regiment is the youngest Regiment of the Indian Army. In 1970, the First Battalion of the Naga Regiment was raised in Ranikhet.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

During 1960, the delegation of the Naga Peoples Convention put forward a proposal for a separate regiment to fulfill their desire of playing a greater role in the Defence Forces of India. The Naga Regiment was the first infantry regiment to be raised in the post-Independence India. In 1957, when the Naga hills area was simmering with insurgency, a convention of the Naga people took place and it came out with a charter of demands including statehood for Nagaland and a separate entity for the Naga people in the Indian defence forces. Nagaland attained its statehood in 1963 and the Naga Regiment was formed seven years later. Nevertheless, a remarkable fact about its raising was that several ex-militants were given a fair chance to prove their newfound nationalism and made to join the Indian Armed Forces, many of them were directly appointed junior commissioned officers.[3] But even before their training could be completed and the recruits were administered oath, trouble began brewing on eastern border of India. Bypassing the training schedule, the Naga Regiment was ordered to move into the concentration areas. And thus the youngest regiment of the Indian Army was pushed into the war with scanty preparedness. Still it held the Tri-colour aloft, it should be attributed jointly to the natural instincts of the Naga warriors and to the inherent valour of Kumaunis, Garhwalis and Gorkhas, the other hill tribes to be drawn into the Naga Regiment.

First Battalion (1 Naga) of the Regiment was raised at the Kumaon Regimental Centre, Ranikhet on 1 November 1970 under the command of Lt. Col. R.N. Mahajan, VSM. Being the only battalion, it was then designated as the NAGA Regiment. The manpower to raise this battalion was provided by battalions of Kumaon, Garhwal and Gorkha (3 Gorkha Rifles) regiments. 69 Nagas were enrolled directly from rehabilitation camps of underground Nagas. However, the Regiment was to comprise 50% Nagas and 50% of an equal number of Kumaoni, Garhwali and Gorkhas. Since many Kumaon battalions had been associated with Nagaland, particularly in the years preceding the raising of the Naga Regiment, it was affiliated to the Kumaon Regiment for all regimental matters. The second battalion (2 Naga) was raised on 11 February 1985 at Haldwani.

The traditional Naga weapons viz the Dao, the Spear and the prestigious Mithun have been integrated into the Regimental Crest. The Regiment's colours are Gold, Green and Red, the gold of the rising sun, the green of Infantry and red the colour of authority among Nagas. 1 Naga was presented with 'Colours' on 6 May 1978 at Dehradun by Shri Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, the President of India and 2 Naga was presented with 'Colours' on 10 May 1990 by General V.N. Sharma, PVSM, ADC, the Chief of Army Staff.[4]

Operation Romeo[edit]

The second Naga battalion was inducted into Keran sector of Kupwara district, where it was responsible for ensuring the sanctity of approximately 24 kilometres of Line of Control (LoC) and also to counter anti-national elements and their operations. It was in this sector the second Naga battalion participated in one of the landmark operations - Operation Romeo. The goal of this operation was to dominate the LoC. The entire operation was carried out with clockwork precision and without any casualties to Indian troops.

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971[edit]

1st Naga Battalion took part in Bangladesh operations and earned a name for the Regiment. It was awarded one Vir Chakra and three Sena Medals.

Kargil War[edit]

Main article: Kargil War

The battalion was the first one to be inducted into Operation Vijay in the Drass Sector on 11 May 1999. During this operation, the battalion captured Black Rock, Thums Up, Pyramid (all part of Point 5140), Pimple Hill (later renamed as Naga Hill) and Point 5060. The battalion was awarded with two Vir Chakra and two Sena Medals for their outstanding performance during this operation. The Second Battalion Naga Regiment has earned one Maha Vir Chakra, two Vir Chakras, one Yudh Seva Medal, one Vishisht Seva Medal and nine Sena Medals.

North Bump[edit]

During Operation Vijay, the regiment performed with distinction and displayed indomitable resolve and valour in the face of the enemy. The renowned warriors of the Naga Regiment, fighting against heavy odds in the Tiger Hill complex, captured North Bump killing 15 Pakistan Army soldiers including one officer, Captain Imtiaz of 69 Field Regiment. The 2 Naga lost Captain Prem Raj, an artillery Forward Observation Officer and 10 soldiers of their battalion.

Twin Valleys[edit]

It was the role played by the 2nd Naga Battalion during operation Vijay in Mashkoh valley that made it to win the title Head Hunters. The braves of 2nd Naga Battalion captured Twin Bumps as part of the Point 4875 complex. The battalion raided enemy mortar position resulting in a large number of casualties to enemy troops and captured huge quantities of arms, ammunition, equipment and documents. The unit was once again honored with unit citation by the COAS. It was within a span of three years and both times in face of enemy that 2nd Naga Battalion got its both unit citations (The first was awarded by COAS for the excellent job done on Line of Control operations in Keran sector in Kashmir valley within a few years of its raising in the year 1997). This unit has been awarded with Battle Honour and Theatre Honour for their valour in Op Vijay.

UN Mission2 Naga has been on UN Mission in SUDAN and was awarded with UN Force Commander's Appreciation Card. [5]

Issues[edit]

Although two battalions of the Naga Regiment were raised as per the historic 16-point 1960 agreement that facilitated the formation of Nagaland state, as of 2001 there were complaints that there was no proper representation of Naga youths in the regiment, headquartered at Ranikhet in Uttaranchal. Nagaland comes under dispensation category and the education standard required for soldier general duty (GD) category is only class-V standard for tribal candidates.

Although the Naga youths earned accolades in the Kargil War, desertions were also frequent. The Army conducted a special recruitment drive for all category of posts to recruit 325 Naga youths across the State. GOC, Nagaland, Major General R. N. Kapur said at least 3,000 Naga youths would be recruited in the Army, Assam Rifles and India Reserve Battalion this year and hoped the youth would avail the opportunity to join the armed forces.[6]

Units[edit]

Currently, the Naga regiment has a strength of 3 battalions and 1 Territorial Army (Home & Hearth) battalion. However, the 1st and 2nd Battalion form the part of the Kumaon Regiment.

  • 1st Battalion (Bahadur Paltan)
  • 2nd Battalion (Head Hunters)
  • 3rd Battalion
  • 164 Inf Bn (TA) (H&H) NAGA

Decorations[edit]

  • 1 Maha Vir Chakra
  • 4 Vir Chakras
  • 1 Yudh Seva Medal
  • 1 Vishist Seva Medal
  • 10 Sena Medals[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Webmaster I. "Bharat Rakshak :: Land Forces Site - The Naga Regiment". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Webmaster I. "Bharat Rakshak :: Land Forces Site - The Naga Regiment". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  3. ^ John Pike. "Naga Regiment". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Webmaster I. "Bharat Rakshak :: Land Forces Site - The Naga Regiment". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  5. ^ John Pike. "Naga Regiment". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  6. ^ John Pike. "Naga Regiment". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  7. ^ Webmaster I. "Bharat Rakshak :: Land Forces Site - The Naga Regiment". Retrieved 26 November 2014.