Updated: Oct 27
The ‘Budgam Landing’ was the first military operation of Independent India, when the Indian Army was inducted by at Budgam Airport on 27th Oct 1947. 1st SIKH, under the command of Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Rai, along with common people and soldiers of State Forces of J&K and the Indian Army fought alongside valiantly to evict Pakistani Forces, driving them out of J&K till ceasefire was effected on 5th Jan 1949. Historically, on 15 Aug 1947, the independent provinces of India and Pakistan were born and Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir decided to remain independent and signed stand still agreement with both India and Pakistan.
By first week of Sep 1947, a number of armed raiders supported by Pakistan Army personnel started infiltrating from all across the borders of the J&K State from Pakistan. On 26 Oct Maharaja Hari Singh signed ‘Instrument of Accession’ and sought help from Govt of India. On 27 Oct 1947, the Pakistani invaders were already in Baramulla, Just 60 km short of tarmac road to Srinagar. With swift action of Indian Armed Forces 1st SIKH was flown from Delhi under Commanding Officer, Lt Col Dewan Ranjit Rai.
The Indian Army was given explicit instruction to encircle the airfield before landing and ascertain that the airfield had not fallen into enemy hands. On landing, Lt Col Rai had to take a quick and bold decision to dash into the invaders column at Baramulla. Keeping one company in reserve, he launched an attack with the other company. The raiders were well-organized, equipped with machine guns and mortars. Lt Col Rai decided to fall back and occupy around Pattan, half way between Srinagar and Baramulla. At this juncture, a sniper's bullet injured him. He had succeeded in halting enemy advance. Meanwhile, the 161 Infantary Brigade under Brigadier LP Sen, DSO, arrived in Srinagar and took over the command of all Indian and State Forces in Srinagar.
On 3rd Nov 1947, a Coy of 4 KUMAON, flown in under Major Somnath Sharma and went on a fighting patrol to Budgam. The company encountered 500-700 strong enemy forces, which attacked with 3 inches and 2 inches mortars. Despite one arm being in plaster due to a fracture, Major Sharma inflicted several casualties on the enemy. He was awarded the first Param Vir Chakra of India and late Sepoy Dewan Singh was awarded Maha Vir Chakar posthumously. The defectors of J&K State Forces Infantry, who had joined the enemy ranks, were now trying to escape the fire that was hitting them from three sides. Seeing the bayonet charge descending on them, the enemy rushed in all directions, and crashed into one another. Ultimately, they turned and fled westwards.
As the enemy broke, 1st SIKH was ordered to attack and the Rifle Company of 4 KUMAON was thrown into the battle on the right flank of 1st SIKH. The Indian Air Force was immediately empower and gave some crucial blows to the enemy. The Battle of Shalateng, which lasted for 12 hrs, had been won. It was a major disaster for the tribesmen. The air support shattered the morale of the enemy and drove them beyond Baramulla and Uri and thus providing victory to India in Indo-Pak 1947-48 war.
In case, Budgam Landing of Indian troops would have failed, then Pakistan would have captured whole of Kashmir. This would have also led to complete control of Pakistan and subsequently Chinese control over the areas of J&k. The entire geography and demography of South Asia would have been changed. The areas illegally occupied by Pakistan have now become the breeding grounds for all kinds of terrorists activities, so with this present scenario if Kashmir was part of Pakistan then it would have been a base of terrorists operations and safe haven of all illegal and terrorists activities.
Presently, India is set to become third largest growing economy in the world. Back in 1947 also India was in much better financial position as compared to Pakistan. So, incorporation of Kashmir in Indefinitely a precursor to the development
spurring growth, leading to prosperity for people Kashmir.