It will be 17th year of victory for India in Kargil war as the nation will celebrate Vijay Diwas. Over 500 Indian soldiers were martyred and 1,363 wounded to earn a victory for India. The Kargil war was fought in three phases. First, Pakistan infiltrated forces into the Indian-controlled section of Kashmir and occupied strategic locations enabling it to bring NH1 within range of its artillery fire. The next stage consisted of India discovering the infiltration and mobilising forces to respond to it. The final stage involved major battles by Indian and Pakistani forces resulting in India recapturing most of the territories held by Pakistani forces.
Let’s remember of the brave Indian Soldiers and heroes who died protecting the Indian nation in the Kargil War:
Captain. Anuj Nayyar was given the responsibility to secure Point 4875, also known as ‘Pimple II’, a strategic location on the western side of Tiger Hill. Captain Nayyar’s seven personnel team located four enemy bunkers. Nayyar fought bravely and managed to kill nine Pakistani soldiers and destroyed three medium machine guns. While clearing the fourth bunker he was hit directly by a grenade from enemy side. He was severely injured but continued to fight till the last bunker was cleared after which he breathed last.
Captain Saurabh Kalia and his men got engaged in a continuous cross fire with the Pakistan Army across the LoC. After running out of ammunition, they were encircled by a platoon of Pakistani rangers and subsequently, captured alive. They were held in captivity for 22 days where they were exposed to third-degree torture. On June 9, 1999, their bodies were sent back to India with their eardrums pierced with hot rods, eyes punctured and removed, most of the teeth and bones broken, and limbs and genitals cut or chopped off. This created widespread anger among people because of inhuman treatment and violation to the Geneva Convention on treatment of war prisoners.
Capt. Nongrum emerged as a strong leader who charged at the enemy with full force. He destroyed a bunker all by himself. Disregarding his own safety, he threw grenades at the bunker and killed six enemy soldiers. He fought hand-to-hand with Pakistani soldiers and tried to snatch the universal machine gun from the bunker. Though severely wounded, Captain Nongrum refused to be evacuated and fought valiantly. Moving through the fire zone, he attacked another bunker before he lost his life.
Grenadier Yogender Singh Yadav took initiative to lead and fix the rope for his team to climb up. The enemy opened intense automatic, grenade, rocket and artillery fire killing the Commander and two of his colleagues and the platoon was stalled. Yogender Singh Yadav crawled up to the enemy position to silence it and in the process sustained multiple bullet injuries. Despite his injuries and in the hail of enemy bullets, he continued climbing towards the enemy positions, lobbed grenades, continued firing from his weapons and killed four enemy soldiers and silenced the automatic fire. Despite multiple bullet injuries, he continued the charge. Inspired by his brave act, the platoon charged on the other positions with renewed punch and captured Tiger Hill.
Capt. Vijyant, along with his platoon secured a foothold on Knoll. However his company commander Major Padmapani Acharya lost his life. This further angered Capt. Vijyant and he surged ahead with his colleague Naik Tilak Singh. Two enemy machine guns were firing towards them. After about an hour and a half of fierce exchange of bullets, Capt. Vijyant moved ahead and killed the enemy. All of a sudden a burst of fire struck him on his head. He fell in the arms of his comrade Naik Tilak Singh and closed his eyes forever. The victory at Knoll, is a tale of bravery and determination.
On June 19, 1999, under the leadership of Captain Vikram Batra, the Indian army snatched point 5140, from right under the enemy's nose. After this successful operation of Point 5140, Captain Batra volunteered for the next mission to recapture point 4875. This point was 17,000 feet above the sea level and 80 degree steep. On July 7, 1999, in the early hours, he was commanding a mission to rescue an injured officer during an enemy counterattack. He was killed in action while clearing enemy positions and rescuing an injured officer. He was honoured with Param Vir Chakra.