The Indian Army observes January 15 every year as the Army day. It was on this day, back in the year 1949 that Field Marshal KM Kariappa was appointed as the first Indian chief of army staff (COAS).
हर भारतीय इस बात पर गर्व करता है कि ‘भारतीय सेना शक्तिशाली, आधुनिक, सर्वश्रेष्ठ एवं उच्च मनोबल के साथ सदैव तैयार है।’ हमारा देश के प्रति दायित्व हमारे प्रेरणा का अजस्र स्रोत है।#StrongAndCapable#प्रबलवसक्षम pic.twitter.com/9jrwxICLJu
— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) January 15, 2021
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Army Chief Gen M M Naravane, extended their warm greetings to our men in uniform and their families on this occasion.
On Army Day, greetings to the valiant men and women of the Indian Army.
We remember the bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice in service to the nation.
India will remain forever grateful to courageous and committed soldiers, veterans and their families.
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) January 15, 2021
मां भारती की रक्षा में पल-पल मुस्तैद देश के पराक्रमी सैनिकों और उनके परिजनों को सेना दिवस की हार्दिक बधाई। हमारी सेना सशक्त, साहसी और संकल्पबद्ध है, जिसने हमेशा देश का सिर गर्व से ऊंचा किया है। समस्त देशवासियों की ओर से भारतीय सेना को मेरा नमन।
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 15, 2021
General MM Naravane #COAS conveys felicitations and warm wishes to All Ranks of the #IndianArmy, Civilians, #Veterans and their Families on the occasion of 73rd #ArmyDay. #StrongAndCapable pic.twitter.com/B7IlbUY1nG
— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) January 15, 2021
As India celebrates Army Day, we look back at some of the glorious moments of the past with respect to the Indian Army.
1. 2016 Uri Surgical Strike
On the intervening night of September 28-29, 2016, in coordinated strikes across the Line of Control, after crossing over into Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK), commandos belonging to the Special Forces killed about 35-70 terrorists and their handlers, 2 Pakistani army soldiers and destroyed about 7 terror camps.
The commandos were air dropped by helicopters near the Line of Control at around 12:30 AM. Then they crossed over into PoK and carried out surgical strikes in Bhimber, Hot spring, Kel and Lipa sectors. These targets that were chosen were in the range of 500 metres to 3 Kms from the LOC. The entire operation lasted for about four hours.
Indian Earth Observation satellite, Cartosat 2C was used to provide high resolution images of the targets.
This was a response initiated by the Indian army after terrorists stormed the Uri Brigade head quarters and martyred about 19 soldiers on September 18th.
This strike signalled India’s new found response to Pakistani state sponsored terrorism and indicated that India was willing to hit the terrorists who were considered to be safe with the protection provided by the Pakistani intelligence and army.
2. 2015 Myanmar strike
On 9 June, 2015, 70 Indian Army commandos belonging to 21 Para Regiment were dropped by the Dhruv helicopters near Myanmar border. In a decisive strike on two terror camps operated by the Naga insurgents belonging to the NSCN (K) and KYKL insurgent groups, the commandos killed more than 70 insurgents and left many wounded.
The commandos were air dropped near the border at around 3 PM. Armed with assault rifles, rocket launchers, grenades, night vision googles and Sniper rifles amongst others, the troops split into two groups after being air dropped. Each group was assigned one camp to destroy.
Then began, an arduous trek of 5 Kms.
Once the groups reached their allotted terror camps, they were further split into two groups.
One group was to carry out the assault on the camps and the other was to protect the perimeter and ensure that no militant escaped.
The actual attack took only 40 minutes and one terror camp was also set on fire. Thermal imagery was used and the Myanmar government was kept in the loop.
A MI-17 attack helicopter belonging to the Indian Air Force was kept on standby, in case anything went out of control.
They commandos then returned back on Indian soil victoriously.
The entire operation was monitored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally.
This was in response to the attack on a convoy carrying soldiers belonging to a battalion of the Dogra Regiment on June 4th in Chandel area of Manipur. The attack martyred about 18 soldiers.
3. Operation Black Tornado
This was launched by commandos belonging to the 51 Special Action Group of the National Security Guards (NSG) in Mumbai on 27 November, 2008 when 10 terrorists belonging to the Lashkar-e- toiba held the entire city of Mumbai to hostage.
This operation specifically was conducted at the Hotel Taj Mahal Palace, wherein four terrorists had sneaked in and created a mayhem.
Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, originally belonging to the Bihar Regiment, led a team of NSG commandos and in this operation, eliminated four terrorists and freed Taj Hotel. In the process, he also rescued many hostages.
His last reported words were “do not come up, I will handle them”. During a room to room search, a terrorist hiding in the dark shot the officer and he gave up his life fighting them bravely.
4. Operation Vijay
The Kargil War of 1999 was initiated by an unprovoked attack on the Indian armed forces and occupation of Indian territories by the Pakistan Army.
In one such attack to recapture Point 4875 in the Mushkoh valley. Captain Vikram Batra of 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles played a critical role in ensuring the success of the operations.
Displaying utmost bravery, he managed to save the life of his fellow soldier and in the process, sustained sniper bullet injuries. He was successful in capturing the post. In the process, he passed aaway.
The government of India awarded him the Param Vir Chakra (PVC).
5. Operation Meghdoot
It was sometime in 1984 that the Indian Intelligence received a tip off that the Pakistani armed forces were shopping for winter clothing equipment. This triggered off a chain of thought that the Pakistanis were after the Siachen glacier.
The Indian army immediately swung into action and started preparing to fend off Pakistani attack.
On 13th April, 1984, units from the Kumaon Regiment and the Ladakh Scouts were roped in for this challenging task.
Immediately the troops captured one peak after the other and managed to capture the important Saltaro ridge.
By 1987, India was firmly in control of the commanding heights of the Siachen glacier.
6. Tangail Airdrop
The objective of the mission was to capture the Poongli bridge on the Jamuna river and ensure that the Pakistan Army’s 93rd Brigade that was retreating from Mymensingh in the North to defend Dhaka, the capital of East Pakistan, was cut off.
The critical task was given to 2 Paras. They received the support of the Artillery and an Engineering battalion. Their task was to link up with the 1 Maratha Light Infantry, who would then proceed towards Dhaka.
The commandos of 2 Para landed at 4 PM and were received by a jubilant crowd. The actual operation begun around 7 PM and the Pakistanis tried unsuccessfully to free the bridge, once it was captured by the Paras. All attacks were repulsed.
The final war led to the liberation of East Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh on December 16, 1971.