Three battalions of the Sikh Regiment received the 'Unit Citation' on the occasion of the Army Day in New Delhi on Wednesday.
While the 5th and 18th battalions received the honour from Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Bikram Singh, the 16th battalion got it from GOC-in-C, Northern Command, Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra.
Lt Gen GS Shergill, Colonel of the Sikh Regiment, said the battalions received this coveted honour in recognition of their exceptional performance during the year.
The Sikh Regiment has received 17 COAS citations and 15 GOC-in-C citations till date.
The 5 Sikh rescued more than 8,500 stranded pilgrims from Mandakini valley of Kedarnath during the Uttarakhand disaster of June 2013. As per a defence spokesperson, soldiers of the 5 Sikh waded through swollen rivers, crossed massive landslides and worked through incessant rainfall to reach out and rescue people stranded in mountain folds of Kedarnath. After establishing two alternative routes to the Kedarnath shrine, the battalion undertook restoration and rehabilitation work.
The 18 Sikh eliminated six hardcore terrorists, apprehended 153 and ensured the surrender of 58 terrorists, besides capturing 100 weapons, seven IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and a huge quantity of ammunition in counter-terrorist operations in Manipur. This was accomplished without any casualties or human rights violations. The battalion thus far has been conferred the 'Unit Citation' four times by the COAS.
The 16 Sikh was the first infantry battalion raised in Independent India on January 16, 1948. The battalion's exceptional performance during the year included counter-terrorist operations, ensuring sanctity of the Line of Control (LoC) in its area of responsibility and establishment of youth empowerment and guidance node for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir. The battalion even organised motivational tours for senior citizens.
Lt Gen Shergill commended all battalions for displaying exceptional mental mobility, functional agility, raw courage and being a partner in nation-building.