From: Khajuria S Kant in Jammu
Pakistani Army supported Kabailis (tribesmen) attacked J& K an October 22, 1947, and to Present then the Indian Army with the Indian Air Force landed in Srinagar on October 27, thus day is known Martyrs day and also as Infantry day.
The tribesmen supported by Pakistani soldiers swarmed across the Jhelum River and began systematic plunder, arson, rape and mindless killing of the unarmed and innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir. The state forces headquarters at Srinagar were informed and Brigadier Rajinder Singh reached Uri on October 23, 1947. The force of approximately one company held out against about 4000 tribesmen till October 24, 1947 and later withdrew to Mohura. Despite high casualties, the soldiers were able to hold the enemy till October 26, 1947, when they were overrun and almost all of them perished fighting. Brig Rajinder Singh, killed in the attack, was awarded the Mahavir Chakra posthumously.
Supreme sacrifices of Brig Rajinder Singh and his men enabled the landing of Indian Army in Kashmir and laying foundation for the victory of troops in Jammu and Kashmir in October 1947.
This valiant soldier proved himself at the highest level as a person as well as a commander, who led the forces from the front being the chief of Maharaja’s Army. Along with a hundred odd soldiers, this great soldier fought bravely with the heavily armed Pakistani raiders and regular soldiers who numbered in thousands and delayed the entry of enemy troops into Kashmir for at least four days. He attained the supreme sacrifice while fighting near Baramulla.
Former Adjutant General, Lt Gen (retd) Anup Singh Jamwal said that true tributes to this great commander would be to create awareness among the people about rich ethos, culture and history of Dogras and a creation of Dogra Heritage Centres. This great Dogra soldier, who was chief of Maharaja’s Army displayed great courage, dedication and patriotism; he fought up to the last drop of blood and stopped the advances of enemy with hundred odd jawans. All of them one by one sacrificed their lives. His sacrifice is an unique example and he deserves no less than Param Veer Chakra. He said that being a retired Adjutant General of India, he feels that some wrong has been done while approving the citation of this great hero for Maha Veer Chakra and it needed to be rectified.
Lt Gen Jamwal said Brig Rajinder Singh’s sacrifices enabled signing of instrument of accession between Maharaja and the Union of India. After the Indian troops landed in Kashmir, the enemy started moving back and process of recapturing of territory started. It was then only a matter of hours and that Indian troops were closer to capture Skardu-Gilgit. Unfortunately a political blunder of a cease-fire led to us to the creation of PoK. Otherwise, history would have been totally different, Gen Jamwal maintained.
“We cannot forget the contribution of Brig Sherjang Thapa, who kept Skardu for three months, but help did not reach him. Then there was Brig Gharsna Singh who controlled Gilgit for sometime, but fell victim to a dirty plan of English who asked one of his captains to arrest him.”
“Do not go any further. Now, we have to to chase the Kabailis away.” This was the final words of Brig Rajinder Singh while encouraging panicky Muzaffarabad refugees to reach Srinagar, minutes before he was ambushed. It was on the intervening night of October 26 and 27 in 1947.
Harbhajan Singh Teig, who lives in Nanak Nagar recalled that he was one of the refugees who were encouraged by the valiant Brigadier before he died fighting the raiders.