Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry

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Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry
JAK LI Regiment Insignia.gif
The Regimental Insignia of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry
Active 1947–present
Country India India
Branch Army
Type Line Infantry
Role Infantry
Size 19 battalions
Garrison/HQ Avantipur, Jammu & Kashmir
Motto 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, 10 Maha Vir Chakras, 34 Vir Chakras, 4 Shaurya Chakras and 56 Sena Medals.[1]
Insignia
Regimental Insignia A pair of crossed muskets

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 small winter setup near Jammu. It's regimental insignia consists of a pair of crossed rifles. The motto of the regiment is Balidanam Vir Lakshanam (Sacrifice is a characteristic of the Brave).

The regiment mostly consists of volunteers from the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It has 50% Muslims while the rest represent other ethnic groups from the state.[2]

History[edit]

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[edit]

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

Siachen Conflict[edit]

In 1984, JAK LI was deployed to the Siachen Glacier, during Operation Meghdoot. The 8th JAK LI earned great honour by capturing a Pakistani post at 21,000 feet at the Siachen Glacier in 1987. Naib Subedar Bana Singh, 8th JAK LI, earned the Param Vir Chakra for the Regiment in this battle. He is the first and only recipient of the PVC for the Regiment.[1] Major VS Minhas and 2nd Lt Rajiv Pande won a Vir Chakra, for gallantry displayed during the same engagement.

IPKF and Sri Lanka[edit]

In 1987, JAK LI was deployed to Sri Lanka during Operation Pawan.

UN Peacekeeping in Somalia[edit]

In 1992–93, a unit from JAK LI Regt.ie 2JAKLI was deployed as a part of UNISOM II, the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia.[4]

Kargil War[edit]

In 1999, JAK LI earned honours in the Kargil War. The Chief of Army Staff made a special instant award of "Unit Citation" to 12th Battalion, The Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry for their exceptionally gallant and sterling performance during the battles of Point 5203 on night 10/11 June 1999 and Point 4812 on night 30 June/1 July 1999 in Batalik Sector. 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[edit]

  • 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

The following two battalions were formerly a part of this regiment:

  • 7th Battalion - Now the 1st Ladakh Scouts
  • 14th Battalion - Now the 2nd Ladakh Scouts[1]

Distinctions[edit]

Battle Honours[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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

2nd Lt rajiv Pande, Vir Chakra

References[edit]

2nd Lt rajiv Pande, Vir Chakra