Hyderabad: Social media users are claiming that in the 1965 war, the Indian army's Muslim regiment refused to fight against Pakistan which led to its disbanding.
The claim is False.
NewsMeter firstly checked the official website of the Indian Army.
According to the information available on the official website, there are different regiments in the Indian Army. These include including Madras Regiment, Rajput Regiment, Sikh Regiment, Bihar Regiment, Gorkha Rifles, Naga Regiment. There is no mention of a Muslim regiment anywhere.
NewsMeter then performed a Keyword search, which led us to a report by The Times of India published on November 29, 2017. The report was written by Syed Ata Hasnain, retired Lieutenant General of Indian Army, and was titled, `The missing Muslim regiment: Without comprehensive rebuttal, Pakistani propaganda dupes the gullible across the board'
In the report, Syed Ata Hasnain said: "The essence of the Pakistani disinformation is that a Muslim Regiment existed in the Indian Army till 1965, but was disbanded because in that conflict 20,000 Muslims refused to fight Pakistan. Thereafter not one Muslim participated within the 1971 conflict (another lie)."
According to the report, after independence, most of the Muslim officers and soldiers went to Pakistan, and the number of people of this community in the army was reduced to a great extent. "However, there are many subunits that had Muslims. There was never a Muslim regiment in the army and certainly nothing like it in 1965. However, there are many examples of valor of Muslim soldiers in different regiments. In today's time, Param Vir Chakra Abdul Hameed is less remembered. Major (General) Mohammad Zaki (Vir Chakra) and Major Abdul Rafi Khan (Posthumous Vir Chakra), who fought alongside their uncle Major General Sahibzada Yakub Khan, who was commanding the Pakistani division. Such examples exist of Muslim warriors in the 1965 war. The same thing happened in the 1971 war also," he said.
We then found a similar fact check that was debunked by BBC in 2020 where they quoted Major General (Retd) Shashi Asthana who said that "recruitment in the Indian Army is not done on the basis of caste or religion, the army only looks at fitness".
"There is no reservation in the army and if you are getting recruited in UP, then whether you are a Garhwali, Kumaoni, or a Muslim, anyone can join the recruitment, no matter what the regiment, your selection is done by merit, You will be selected only if you are physically fit," he said.
"In the Indo-Pak war of 1965, the fake Muslim regiment, which is being rumored to lay down arms, in the same war, Quartermaster Havildar Abdul Hameed destroyed more than four Pakistani tanks and was posthumously awarded the country's top military award Param Vir Chakra was awarded," the report added.
It is therefore evident that the viral claim is False. Indian Army has never had a Muslim regiment. No Muslim soldier in the army has ever refused to fight.