Naga Regiment

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Naga Regiment
Naga Regiment Insignia.gif
Naga Regiment Insignia
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 dao (a cutting weapon used in Nagaland), with a shield bearing a mithun (bull) head.[2]

The Naga Regiment is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army. It is among the youngest regiments of the Indian Army - the first battalion was raised in Ranikhet in 1970. The regiment recruits mainly from Nagaland, in northeast India.[3]

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 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.[4] But even before their training could be completed and the recruits were administered oath, insurgencies began in northeast India. Bypassing the training schedule, the Naga Regiment was ordered to move into the concentration areas. The Regiment was pushed into the war with barely any preparation.

The first battalion of the regiment (1 Naga) 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 the Kumaon Regiment, Garhwal Rifles and 3 Gorkha Rifles. 69 Nagas were enrolled directly from rehabilitation camps of underground Nagas. However, the regiment's troops were to be 50% Nagas and 50% of an equal number of Kumaonis, Garhwalis 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 signifies the rising sun, the green signifies the infantry and red is 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.[5]

Operation Romeo[edit]

The 2nd battalion of the Naga Regiment (2 Naga) was inducted into Keran sector of Kupwara district, Jammu and Kashmir, 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 that 2 Naga 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]

The 1st battalion of the Naga Regiment (1 Naga) took part in Bangladesh operations and earned a name for the regiment. It was awarded one Vir Chakra and three Sena Medals.

UN Mission[edit]

2 Naga has been deployed on the UN mission in Sudan and was awarded with UN Force Commander's Appreciation Card.[6]

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 Uttarakhand. Nagaland comes under dispensation category and the education standard required for soldier general duty (GD) category is only class-V standard for tribal candidates.

The Naga youths earned accolades in the Kargil War. 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 reserve battalions in 2014 and hoped the youth would avail the opportunity to join the armed forces.[7]

Regimental Battalions[edit]

Currently, the Naga Regiment consists of 3 regular battalions and 1 Territorial Army battalion.

  • 1st Battalion
  • 2nd Battalion
  • 3rd Battalion
  • 164 Infantry Battalion (TA)

Decorations[edit]

  • 1 Maha Vir Chakra
  • 8 Vir Chakras
  • 6 Shaurya Chakras
  • 1 Yudh Seva Medal
  • 1 Vishist Seva Medal
  • 48 Sena Medals[8]

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. ^ http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/ARMY/units/117-Naga-Regt.html
  4. ^ John Pike. "Naga Regiment". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Webmaster I. "Bharat Rakshak :: Land Forces Site - The Naga Regiment". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  6. ^ John Pike. "Naga Regiment". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  7. ^ John Pike. "Naga Regiment". Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  8. ^ Webmaster I. "Bharat Rakshak :: Land Forces Site - The Naga Regiment". Retrieved 26 November 2014.