LEH/NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind today presented Colours to all five battalions and the regimental centre of the Ladakh Scouts during his first official visit to Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.
President Kovind said at the ceremony his Leh visit was also his first outside Delhi since he assumed office last month.
"In his capacity as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, he dedicated the visit to the armed forces of the country," Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Ashok Malik said in a statement.
The Presentation of Colours from the President is in recognition of the regimental flag and to commend the regiment for courage displayed during conflicts.
The President said it had been 54 years since the Ladakh Scouts became a part of the Indian Army.
"This period has been replete with tales of heroism, honour and glory. The genesis of the Regiment was in the invasion by Pakistani raiders in 1947-48 and the resolve with which Ladakhis defended their motherland. This continues to remain a matter of pride for the entire country," he said.
Complimenting the Ladakh Scouts for 605 awards and honours for gallantry and distinguished services, the President said, "This speaks for the exceptional valour and spirit of the Regiment personnel and is a model for all soldiers and officers of our armed forces".
He pointed out it had earned distinction in various wars and operations and excelled in sports, adventure pursuits and professional challenges.
The President said at the Colour Presentation Ceremony that he wished to pay homage to the martyrs of the Ladakh Scouts regiment.
"Their blood and sacrifice secured our sovereignty, brought glory to our nation and protected our people from harm," he said.
He also congratulated all veterans and serving soldiers of the regiment for their adherence to duty and professional conduct.
Ladakh Scouts was an affiliate of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry till 1999. During the Kargil war, the Ladakh Scouts displayed exemplary courage after which the then Army Chief, General V P Malik, moved a proposal for establishing it as a separate regiment.
The President also released a documentary film on Colonel Sonam Wangchuk, MVC, produced by Somesh Saha, and interacted with veterans and 'Veer Naris', besides gallantry awardees.
Later, he laid the foundation stone for the Buddha Park for World Peace at Leh's Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, the statement said.
Among the dignitaries present were Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat.