Vintage Kashmir

The morning Indian Army landed in Kashmir

8:30 AM, October 27, 1947 -this exactly was the time when first sortie carrying soldiers of then Royal Indian Army landed in Srinagar. The Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir, on 24 October 1947, requested the Indian Government for military aid. Indian Government conveyed to the Maharaja that it would be legitimate to send the Indian troops to Kashmir only after Kashmir is formally acceded to India. By 26 October, Kashmir looked indefensible and Pakistani tribal raiders were knocking at the doors of Srinagar and were just 50 km away. At this late stage,  Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession. J & K acceded to India on 27 Oct 1947 and the unprepared Indian military got sucked into a war. The Government wasn’t sure if the airfield at Srinagar was occupied by the militiamen or not. The mission order had an unusual rider attached to it i.e. ” To reconnoiter from the air and return to Jammu if the raiders have occupied the airstrip”. The first three Dakotas of No 12 Sqn RIAF took off from Willingdon (Safdarjung) airfield at 5AM on 27 Oct 1947 with troops of the 1st Sikh Regiment ex-Gurgaon. The first aircraft touched down at 8:30AM. | TheDispatch


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