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23 Infantry Division / Seval Division

Symbols adorn the world at every turn, in spiritual, social and political experience. Hinduism has amassed a vast range of icons from thousands of years. In Asian mythology, the red rooster is associated with the underworld. Seval is the noble red rooster who heralds each dawn, calling all to awake and arise. He is a symbol of the imminence of spiritual unfoldment and wisdom.

As a fighting cock, he crows from Lord Skanda's battle flag. Skandan, or Murugavel, the darling of the Tamil speaking diaspora, the Shadamathurar, the Sharavanabhavanar, the ever youthful Kumara of Kalidasa's Kumara Sambhavam, Senthilvelavan, Senthilandavar, Guhan, Velmurugan, the Devasenapathy of the Devas, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief and War Lord of the Gods and demi-Gods. The name Skandan is not a name peculiar to India. It has world wide ramifications. In olden times, people from other parts of the world gave them the name of Iskandar and as per the Semitic language after the addition of the honorific "Al" Iskandhar had become Alexander (Greek).

The "Seval" or "Rooster" is one of Lord Muruga's emblems. The large, red, fighting rooster (kukkuta in Sanskrit) that adorns Lord Murugan's flag, heralding the dawn of wisdom and the conquest of the forces of ignorance. The battle of Soora samharam was fought to kill the arrogance and ego of the demon who thought that he was invincible. Soorapaduman is known to have taken many forms during the battle to deceit the Murugan. At the end of the battle, Soorapadhman is torn into two pieces from which emerges the Seval or Cock, which became the flag of the Kandan, the other piece becoming the peacock or Mayil, which become his vehicle or vahanam.

Cock fighting used to be a common street sport in India and although disappearing, is still practiced underground. It is a bloody sport that is pursued till one bird kills another. The excitement is increased by ganging of the teams, consumption of liquor, and betting.

In early 1994 tribals in Chhotanagpur, living in questionable safety around the 188 sq km Netarhat Firing Range, were preparing to launch a protest movement against the proposed acquisition of their land by the army's 23 Infantry Division. The acquisition would displace about 100,000 inhabitants and periodically uproot another 150,000 during actual test firing. Quoting the Manoeuvres Field Firing and Artillery Practice Act of 1938, the army asked the Bihar state government to permanently acquire and develop 1,471 sq km into a heavy artillery training range.

In mid-2006 the maiden South-Western Command Boxing Championship was organised at Kota by DOT Divison. A total of eight formation teams participated in the event. The event was inaugurated by Brig P Vivekanandan, Commander 627 (I) Mechanised Air Defence Brigade. The final day saw eleven extremely well-fought bouts. In the end, 33 Armd Division and 23 Infantry Division were neck to neck with 22 points each. The 23 Infantry Division was adjudged the winners by virtue of having more number of finalists and 33 Armd Division a close runner-up.

Assam Rifle celebrated its 61st raising day on 01 September 2008. It is the oldest range headquarter of AR. It was raised as joint headquarter at Tuensang in Nagaland in September 1947. Then its role was to extend administrative control over remote tribal areas under difficult conditions with rudimentary administrative backup. The range was later re-designated as Headquarter`s Sector 1, in May 1956 and placed under command Headquarter GOC Assam (now 23 Infantry Division. The sector was re-christened as Headquarters Manipur Range in July 1973 and subsequently as Headquarter`s Sector 9, in November 1979. After a brief stay at Mantripukhri the headquarter was moved to the present location Keithelmanbi in December 2004. The Sector has handled extreme sensitive situations in Manipur and Nagaland which include instability, ethnic and tribal strife, natural calamities and off late counter terrorism.



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