Maratha Light Infantry to celebrate 250 years tomorrow

ANI | Updated: Feb 03, 2018 17:56 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 03 (ANI): The Maratha Light Infantry will celebrate 250 years of its existence by organising a programme at the Manekshaw Centre here on Sunday.

The chief guest of the programme will be graced by Union Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Subhash Bhamre. The Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat will be present as well.

Also, the Republic Day parade contingent of the Maratha Light Infantry would be present. The families of the light infantry soldiers, who are posted in Delhi will also grace the occasion.

February 4 is celebrated as "Maratha Light Infantry Day" across the regiment throughout the country.

The date holds a historic significance as on this day, in 1670, Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji conquered the famous Kondana Fort, which is now known as Sinhgad today in Maharashtra.

The first battalion of the regiment was raised as the 'Second Battalion Bombay Sepoys' in 1768 which was later known as 'Jangi Paltan 3'.

The Maratha Light Infantry was bestowed with the rare honour of winning two Victoria crosses to two of its soldiers- N.K. Yeshwant Ghadge and Sepoy Namdev Jadhav.

It was also the first infantry regiment of the Army to be awarded the title of 'Light Infantry' during the First Afghan War in 1841.

The Maratha Light Infantry has a proud history of gallantry as it was honoured with 15 battle honours in the First World War. In the second World War, the regiment's strength increased from six to 13 battalions.

Today the regiment has around 21 regular battalions, four Rashtriya Rifles battalions, and two Territorial Army battalions.

The Maratha Light Infantry is the only regiment which has contributed two battalions of the special forces to the Indian Army. The regiment has an affiliation with 10 Mechanised Infantry regiments, two artillery regiments and an air defence regiment in the Army.

The regiment has an inter-service affiliation with Indian Naval Ship (INS) Mumbai, the 20th Squadron Air Force (Sukhoi) and Indian Coast Guard air station in Daman and Diu. (ANI)