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20 Infantry Division / Kirpan Division

Sikhs are followers of the Sikh religion. All Sikh men include "Singh" in their surnames and all Sikh women include "Kaur." Founded in the Punjab region of India in the 15th century, Sikhism is a monotheistic faith that retains some elements of Islam and Hinduism while also defining important differences from them (rejecting, for example, the caste system). It is the fifth largest religion in the world with an estimated 23 million adherents,[32] the majority of them in India. The tenets of the Sikhs' religion condemn violence or use of drugs or alcohol. All Sikhs refrain from cutting their hair and wear turbans, which are religiously mandated not to be removed in public. Sikhs view their turbans as an important connection to God that covers a very private and personal part of the body. Accordingly, removal of a turban is considered one of the most invasive acts imaginable. A Sikh turban is not like a hat; it is a long piece of cloth, usually several yards long that takes significant time to be retied.

The five Sikh articles of faith include the kirpan. A kirpanis a religious article resembling a sword, which is integral to thepractice of the Sikh faith. Some Sikhs carry a small replica of a ceremonial knife called a "kirpan" embedded inside their turbans. Some Sikhs carry a full-sized kirpan that usually has a blade of 3 inches in length. These may be carried in a man's waistband or pocket or in a woman's handbag. The kirpan may be carried in a shoulder strapknown as a gatra, as mandated by the Sikh Code of Conduct. A venerable religious practice requires baptized Sikhs, including children, to wear a kirpan (a small dagger) in adherence with their faith. There is no fixed style of Kirpan and it can be anything from a few inches to three feet long. It is kept in a sheath and can be worn over or under clothing. The kirpan traditionally has a blade of 3 to 6 inches and is worn sheathed and concealed under garments. The kirpan acts as a constant reminder to its bearer of a Sikh's solemnduty to protect the weak and promote justice for all. The kirpan is also an allusion to spiritual knowledge that cuts through ignorance and sin.

As part of 20 Infantry Division, 6 Battalion Assam Regiment battled against stiff enemy opposition in the Eastern Front in 1971, and affected the surrender of the Nator Garrison of the Pakistan Army. 41 Officers, 198 Junior Commissioned Officers, 5500 other ranks and 1865 Para Military Forces along with 09 tanks, 25 Artillery Guns and 10773 Small Arms laid down their arms in front of the Battalion on 17 Dec 1971. The Battalion had not looked back after it tasted first blood, and has time and again proved its mettle in treacherous mountains, hostile high altitude areas, burning deserts and the sensitive Line of Control. True to its reputation, the Battalion gave a superlative account of its courage and humanity in Counter Insurgency duties in J&K, and the Battalion was the proud recipient of the Northern Army Commander's "Unit Appreciation". In keeping with the Battalion's glorious past, it was accorded the honor to take over as the "Ceremonial Army Guard Battalion" of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India.

A sixteen-member army personnel from Kirpan Division of Binnaguri in West Bengal trekked, cycled and rode motorbikes to reach the 14,400 ft Indo-China border at Nathu La on 10 May 2008. The armymen led by Lt K.S.Mago were participating in the 21-day expedition that had been flagged off from Binnaguri on April 24. The team had entered Sikkim on April 27 and had then proceeded on foot, cycles and bikes to several high altitude areas of North Sikkim like Guru Dongmar lake and Lachung.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:41:12 ZULU