Generations ensure legacy of service is essence of Jangi Paltan, Indian Army’s third oldest battalion
The current commanding officer of the 1st Maratha Light Infantry, Col Vikrant S Shinde, is too, a second generation officer serving in the battalion.pune Updated: Jan 31, 2019 16:43 IST
Being the third oldest battalion of the Indian Army legacy is the essence of the Jangi Paltan. Families have served in the battalion and the Paltan has numerous stories of valour to be told. The current commanding officer of the 1st Maratha Light Infantry, Col Vikrant S Shinde, is too, a second generation officer serving in the battalion.
Lt Gen DB Shekatkar (retd), who was the Corps Commander when the Jangi Paltan was posted at Tawang Clemta Boomla (Arunachal Pradesh), said, “George Fernandes was the defence minister then and I took him to the 1st battalion, Maratha Light Infantry or the Jangi Paltan. There I introduced him to Major Sangram Bhosalre (now a brigadier), who is a fifth generation serving officer in the same battalion. This is a great achievement for any battalion. It puts tremendous amount of pressure on the officers to make sure that the name of their ancestors, the name of their parents, never gets questioned. Legacy is the essence of the this Paltan.”
During the 250 year celebrations, veer naaris and family members were felicitated for the supreme sacrifice and one of them was a proud father and grandfather. Naik Dattu Tarte (retd) served in the Jangi Paltan for 17 years and then, his son Sepoy Bajirao Tarte followed his footsteps. Bajirao Tarte, posted in the same 1st Maratha Light Infantry like his father, was martyred in Sri Lanka when the Paltan was posted as a part of the Indian Peacekeeping Forces during Operation Pawan (to take control of Jaffna from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, LTTE, in 1987). What really helps the Tarte family stand apart is that, despite losing one of his sons in battle, they continue to serve the nation. Dattu Tarte’s grandson is also serving in the Army.
Today, the Paltan felicitated Bajirao’s father, Dattu Tarte, during the 250 year celebrations, as a token that his son’s sacrifice will be remembered throughout the ages. Remembering his son, Dattu Tarde, said, “I asked my son to greet my seniors when he goes to Sri Lanka, since he was in the same Paltan as I was. That was the last thing I had told my son before he was martyred.”
First Published: Jan 31, 2019 16:42 IST