Army chief presents President’s Colours to 4 new infantry battalions

Shillong: Indian Army Chief, Gen. Dalbir Singh on Wednesday presented the President’s Colours to four newly-raised infantry battalions — 16 and 17 Assam Regiment and 1 and 2 Arunachal Scouts — at a Colour Presentation Parade held at the Assam Regimental Centre here.

Deputy Chief of the Army staff Lt. Gen. Subrata Saha, who is also the Colonel Commandant of the Assam Regiment and Arunachal Scouts, as well as Eastern Command chief Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi, Central Command chief, Lt. Gen. B.S. Negi and other serving and veteran Rhinos witnessed the parade.

It was also a rare occasion that a Brigadier commanded a parade but Brig. Sudhir Kumar Jha, who is also the Commandant of the Assam Regimental Centre, did it with aplomb at the Parson parade ground here.

In his address after reviewing the parade, the army chief said the Assam Regiment has crossed yet another milestone.

“Assam Regiment is one of the oldest and finest regiment of the Indian Army. I am honoured and immensely proud to address the ‘line of fraternity’, as this oldest regiment has constantly been able to march ahead with valour to glory. The regiment’s history is filled with inspiring stories of sacrifices and victories,” he said.

As part of the regiment’s platinum jubilee celebrations, the army chief also dedicated the regiment’s expanded and renovated War Memorial, which was originally inaugurated on November 24, 1953 by the then undivided Assam’s Chief Minister, Bishnuram Medhi. Etched on its walls are the names of 376 martyrs.

The Assam Regiment was raised here on June 15, 1941 in Shillong by Lt Col Ross Howman at the Governor’s House of the undivided Assam – now the present day Raj Bhavan here.

Governor V. Shanmuganathan also unveiled a plaque of the Assam Regiment at the lawns of Raj Bhavan in presence of Lt. Gen. Saha to mark the platinum jubilee celebrations.

“The regiment was raised to meet demands from the undivided State of Assam and to counter the threat of Japanese invasion. It was baptism by fire for the regiment. The Assam Regiment fought a battle at Jessami and participated in the epic defence of Kohima and capture of Aradura (Nagaland),” defence spokesman Amit Mahajan told IANS.

The Assam Regiment has the unique distinction of winning six battle honours and theatre honour of Myanmar during the Second World War and also had the distinction of winning battle honour of Chhamb and theatre honour of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947-48 and again in 1971, he said.

After Independence, the Assam Regiment has participated in all the wars India has fought. Its men were also inducted in the Indian Peace-Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka and UN Peace Keeping Force in Cambodia.

The regiment has now raised 15 regular units, three Rashtriya Rifles units, three infantry battalions and two ecological battalions of the Territorial Army, and two battalion of Arunachal Scouts.

Three battalions of the regiment also acquitted themselves admirably at Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield of the world.

This year, the Assam regiment was adjudged the best marching contingent in the services category both in Republic Day and Army Day.