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9 Corps / Rising Star

For an effective operational preparedness in the western sector, in mid-2005 Indian Army raised a new corps at Yol Cantt in Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh. The Army converted two existing infantry divisions to mountain divisions while raising the new IX Corps in 2005. The new corps, christened 9 Corps, comprises 26 and 29 Infantry Divisions, which had previously been allocated to XVI Corps / Nagrota Corps, and a number of brigades.

At a spectacular ceremony held amidst serene environs, with the snow-clad dhauladhars in the backdrop, Lt Gen AS Jamwal, GOC, 9 Corps inaugurated the new formation. This was followed by the unfurling of the corps flag by the corps commander. A large number of serving officers and ex-servicemen from Army and local residents were present on the occasion.

While interacting with the troops on the occasion, Lt Gen Jamwal asked the troops to strive hard to realise the goals set for the corps. The troops were fully charged with a glow on their face and an innate desire to accomplish their tasks with zeal and enthusiasm. While talking to the media, the corps commander apprised them of the responsibilities and the dynamic role that this formation is set to play as a part of western command.

The new corps, in its area of responsibility (AOR), encompasses parts of Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Speaking to the local residents, the GOC assured them that while carrying out the operational tasks, the corps would implement development projects for their benefit.

The local residents who attended the inaugural ceremony in large number were extremely thrilled with the presence of Army troops in this small hill town. Known for providing a friendly ambience at Yol, the locals are not only looking ahead towards their own economic prosperity of the region due to arrival of a large number of troops, but are also assuring the Army of full cooperation.

The newly established 9 Corps celebrated Kargil Diwas at the recently renovated War Memorial near Dharamshala Cantonment, in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. "The martyrdom of soldiers works as a beacon for the generations to come and motivates them to live a life full of dexterity, valour, sacrifice and dedication", said Lt Gen Anup Singh Jamwal, GOC, 9 Corps while speaking on the ocassion.

The ceremony commenced with laying of wreaths at the war memorial by the GOC and other dignitaries. Officials of the civil administration assured to release substantial funds for the upkeep of the war memorial. Lt Gen Jamwal planted a sapling in the honour of war heroes. In his formal introductory address, the Chairman of the Martyrs Memorial Society of Dharamshala, Lt Col MR Sharma (Retd) highlighted the relevance of the sacrifice by the sons of Himachal.

Lt Gen Jamwal spoke on the welfare initiatives being taken by the government for the welfare of ex-servicemen and exhorted them to come forward in large numbers to become members of the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS). Applauding the spirit of the youth of the state, he reiterated that Himachal a land of the warriors, has been producing a number of Param Vir Chakra awardees. In his interaction with the ex servicemen who came from as far as Nagrota, Nurpur, Palampur, Kangra and Shahpur Yol, he assured them that the new corps would act as a catalyst towards development in the region. The GOC also announced setting up of a placement cell at the Station Headquarters, Yol Cantt.

On the ocassion, mementoes were presented to the next of kin of the martyrs. It was a touching moment to see the parents of (late) Capt Vikram Batra walk up with pride to the dias to receive the memento.

Nine Corps, Indian Army's youngest corps, formally became operational on 01 September 2005 in Himachal Pradesh. Based at Yol Cantt near Dharamsala, the Rising Star formation, as it is informally named, is headed by Lt Gen Anup Singh Jamwal who has successfully commanded 4 Corps in the North East prior to this assignment. Having been raised within a short span of four months, HQ 9 Corps is responsible for larger areas.

Speaking on the occasion of the assumption of the command, Lt Gen Jamwal complimented his officers and men for having completed raising in a professional manner, thus, realising the aspirations of the nation and Indian Army. He outlined the ethos of the corps as to resolve all issues with a 'heart and head' approach, synergise all the resources for optimal efficiency, a high degree of competence in conventional and counter-terrorist operations and reaching out to youth and ex-servicemen.

The brief ceremony, held at Yol Cantt, was attended by all Formation Commanders and Staff Officers of Headquarters 9 Corps. It began with unfurling of the 9 point Rising Star flag amidst chanting of hymns. Release of the Special Order of the Day of the corps and inauguration of the Other Ranks Institute and the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) Vocational Training Complex by Mrs Kanta Jamwal, President, AWWA 9 Corps also marked the occasion.

In May 2006 the Headquarters Rising Star Corps organised a historic function in the salubrious climes of the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh wherein the revived Yol Fort was re-dedicated to the nation. The Rising Star Museum was also inaugurated. The guest of honour on this occasion was Gen VN Sharma (Retired), former Chief of the Army Staff. Earlier, the Yol Fort was a small memorial existing at the Nabha-Mall Road junction inside the cantonment. It was constructed in 1958 by 81 Infantry Brigade (Patiala) as a memorial for martyrs of units serving in Yol Cantonment. When raising of 9 Corps commenced in this cantonment in 2005, it was found to be in a highly dilapidated state. It had also become a blind corner for traffic plying around this busy intersection.

The inspiration for refurbishing the erstwhile Yol Fort came from Lt Gen PK Rampal, GOC, 9 Corps and accordingly Maj Gen RS Mehta, the COS was tasked to prepare a blueprint and roadmap for the reconstruction. Chief Engineer, Brig RR Sinha, the project in-charge then got on the job on a war footing with his team of Army and civil engineers and, within two months, the complex was ready. The idea of honouring the martyrs was then mooted and accepted. The photos, alongwith citations of five martyrs who belonged to the area of operations of 9 Corps, now adorn the Fort Yol ramparts.

On this occasion, the newly raised Rising Star Museum was also inaugurated which showcases a kaleidoscope of history, culture of Himachal Pradesh, J&K and Punjab and a weapons' display alongwith a gallery dedicated to operations conducted by the Indian Army since Independence. There is a 'Capt Vikram Batra Corner' displaying the last letters written by this bravest of brave officers before attaining martyrdom, letters of appreciation and condolence, photographs and last uniform worn by him. There is also a special section devoted to the origin and military importance of Kangra Valley in general and Yol Cantt, in particular.

This was also the occasion for release of the inaugural issue of the Rising Star Digest. Parents of the martyrs and a large number of ex-Servicemen were invited on this historic occasion. Prominent among them were the parents of Capt Vikram Batra, Maj Sudhir Kumar and Capt Arun Jasrotia. Gen VN Sharma (Retired) is also the only surviving next of kin (brother) of Maj Somnath Sharma, the first Param Vir Chakra winner of the country in 1947.

On 18 February 2008 Lt Gen Vinay Sharma was appointed General Officer Commanding of 9 Corps based at Yol Cantonment in Himachal Pradesh. The General was commissioned in 3 Dogra Regiment in 1971. He is a veteran of liberation of Bangladesh. During his illustrious career he has held a number of coveted command, staff and instructional assignments. Lt Gen Sharma replaceed Lt Gen B S Nagal as commander of the army's newest formation at Yol in Kangra district. Gen Nagal will move to Army Headquarters in New Delhi for further posting. Maj Gen D L Chowdary replaced Maj Gen Sanjeev Loomba as GOC of 26 Infantry Division, popularly known as Tiger Division, based in Jammu.

One local news source reported August 08 2008that the IX corps, which falls under the Army, Western Command, defends the international border with Pakistan. By August 2008 the Army seemed likely to deploy more troops in the curfew-bound Jammu region to control the prevailing tension over the Amarnath land row, and to counter terrorists' design to disrupt Independence Day celebrations. Talking to UNI on the sidelines of a press conference here, General Officer Commanding (GOC) IX 'Rising Star' Corps Lt General Vinay Sharma today said, "More troops will be called in, if the situation doesn't improve." The demand for more troops to meet the prolonged unrest in Jammu also arises with August 15 round the corner, and the primary engagement of the existing strength of army in encounter-insurgency operations and the guarding of the border, he hinted. "There are intelligence inputs that terrorists can take advantage of this violative situation (referring to the massive protests out on the roads) in Jammu," Lt General Sharma said.

The Corps Commander said that there are reports that terrorists may strike on the sensitive day of 15 August, the independence day of India. "Our biggest fear is that terrorists could trigger blasts among the protesters and cause huge loss to the life and property of the people," Lt Gen Vinay Sharma, general officer commanding 9 Corps, said. Army personnel were deployed from Lakhanpur, which is considered the gateway to the state, to Jammu and the soldiers are guarding the Jammu-Pathankot highway and the railway track in the area. Sharma said that the protesters were perhaps not aware of the designs of the terrorists. "They (terrorists) can go to any extent to cause damage to the people," he said. He made it clear that the soldiers would be on streets and highways only as long as the situation requires. "Once the situation stabilises, we will be back to our places," Sharma said. Refusing to narrate the number of army personnel deployed in Jammu, the Corps Commander said that the number depends on the area it operates. He however said that the army personnel were essentially deployed on the national highway to ensure security of trucks and passengers. About 10,000 soldiers from 9 Corps are out in Jammu and there are reports that They are essentially providing security to trucks and passenger vehicles entering the state.

IX Corps / Rising Star
Yol Cantt

26 Infantry Division
Jammu 3244'N7452'E

29 Infantry Division - Mace Division
Pathankot 3217'N7539'E

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:41:21 ZULU