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Jammu & Kashmir Rifles

Much of the the Army's Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regiment and Jammu and Kashmir Rifles Regiment are made of recruits from Poonch, Rajouri and Doda villages.

The Jammu & Kashmir Rifles [J&KR] is a unique Indian Regiment raised in 1821, not by the British but by the Indian ruler Gulab Singh. Maharaja Gulab Singh, the man credited with the founding of Jammu & Kashmir State, was born in I792. Gulab Singh joined the Sikh Army as a common trooper under Jamadar Khushal Singh's command; he was later given his own command of a small force. He participated in one of the many assaults on Kashmir prior to its final annexation by the Sikhs in 1819. In 1820, the state of Jammu was given to Gulab Singh as a jagir. He soon persuaded the Maharaja that in order to collect the revenues and maintain order, he required an army. He was then permitted to raise a small force of his own and was granted the title of Raja. The initial force raised and trained by Gulab Singh in 1820 was the fore-runner of the present regiment of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles.

The Sikhs ruled Kashmir until their defeat by the British. Thereafter, Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu paid Rs. 75 lakhs to the East India Company in 1846 in exchange for Kashmir and some other areas under a treaty later named as 'Treaty of Amritsar'. Jammu and Kashmir as a single entity was unified and founded by Maharaja Gulab Singh on 16 March 1846. Zorawar Singh, a General in the Dogra Corps of the Khalsa Army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, later led daredevil campaigns in northern areas like Ladakh, Baltistan, Gilgit, Hunza and Yagistan, consolidating smaller principalities and making the northern areas a part of the expanding dominions of Maharaja Gulab Singh.

The Maharaja of Kashmir maintained a larger number of State Forces than any other Ruler of an Indian State under the British Raj. These forces were organized into the Jammu and Kashmir Brigades. They comprised one Bodyguard Cavalry regiment, two Mountain Batteries, seven active and one training battalions of Infantry and a Transport unit consisting of both pack and mechanized transport. Several of these units served with distinction on the North-West Frontier of India and overseas during the Great War.

The Jammu & Kashmir State Forces was the only former Princely State Forces of India to be absorbed into the Indian Army as a distinct and separate Regiment. In 1963, the designation was changed to Jammu & Kashmir Rifles. After the conversion, the Ladakh Scouts came under the aegis of the Regiment, where it remained until raised as a separate Regiment in 2002.

A Jammu and Kashmir Rifles battalion was part of the UN force in Cambodia during 1990-93.

The Chief of Army Staff made a special instant award of "Unit Citation" to 13th Battalion, The Jammu and Kashmir Rifles for their exceptionally gallant and sterling performance during the battles of Hump (Tololing Ridge) on night 15/16 June, Point 5140 on night 19/20 June and Point 4875 on night 04/05 July 1999. The overall performance of the battalion during Operation "VIJAY" was exceptional and marked with exemplary valour and grit in the face of the enemy. 13 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles demonstrated sheer grit and determination captured area Flat Top with one Coy. Maintaining the tempo 13 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles perused the attack in day light capturing Pt 4875 by 1245 hrs on 05 July. After having consolidated the initial gains, Phase 2 of the operation to capture Pt 4875 was launched on the night of 06-07 July. A company of 17 JAT captured Pimple Two destroying four enemy bunkers, however due to heavy enemy fire from a nearby ledge the Company could not progress towards their objective. 2 Naga on the other hand made steady progress fighting and climbing their way to the Top and capturing Twin Bumps by 1200 hrs. A company of 13 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles was launched to clear the ledges of the enemy that were effectively pinning down a company of 17 Jat. By night fall the Pt 4875 had been cleared of all enemy and was recaptured by the Indian soldiers.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:37:35 ZULU