Kashmir Indepth

Befitting tribute planned for soldiers who took part in Kargil War

Srinagar, July 14 As a befitting tribute to the determination, bravery, courage and daring mettle of the Indian Army, grand celebrations have been planned to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Kargil War.

Prepare for the greatest experience after eating a nutritious breakfast. You will travel over some of the highest passes in the world on your adventure, and you will be greeted by ever-changing vistas of the desolate landscape. Stop at the café on Khardung-La Pass, the highest all-season motorable road in the world, and take in the scenery; you'll feel as though you're on top of the world. Upon leaving Khardung-la, the terrain changes to a white sand desert as you approach the Nubra Valley, which is home to the Nubra Sand Dunes. Visit the Diskit Monastery, the oldest and biggest monastery in Ladakh, which also contains a sizable Buddha statue, if time permits.

The celebrations will span three days from July 25 to 27 as the end of ”Operation Vijay” was declared on July 27, 1999.

The three-month-long Kargil war was declared over by the Indian Army after the Pakistani troops, mostly drawn from its Northern Light Infantry were pushed back and the peaks in Kargil, Drass and Batalik were recaptured.

”Remember, Rejoice and Renew” is the theme with which the Indian Army is going to celebrate the victory during the Kargil war.

The sly intrusions of mountain peaks by Pakistan troops were reported to the Indian army by locals living close to the line of control (LoC) in Kargil district in May 1999.

The Kargil war is known for the determination, bravery, courage and daring mettle of the Indian Army troops who took to task the enemy intruders occupying strategic heights in Indian Territory.

As a part of the commemoration, treks were organised some days back by 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles (JAK RIF) known as the Bravest of the Brave and 18 Grenadiers to Batra Top and Tiger Hill.

No one can forget Captain Vikram Batra who had decimated the enemy through his heroic acts and the famous “Dil Maange More” which had the entire nation fall in admiration of this war icon.

To commemorate this victory as part of the 20th anniversary of Operation Vijay, a trekking expedition to Batra Top was also undertaken by 13 JAK RIF.

The objective of the trek was to celebrate the triumph of the Battalion over the enemy as also to pay homage to the brave soldiers who laid down their lives in service of the motherland.

The 13 JAK RIF was awarded the Battle Honour “Mushkoh & Drass” and Theatre Honour “Kargil” and there were gallantry awards to include two Param Vir Chakras and three Vir Chakras.

The trekking team of the 13 JAKRIF Battalion comprised one Junior Commissioned Officer, ten other ranks moved from Drass.

It went up the treacherous, harsh mountainous terrain of Drass Sector and summited Batra Top.

Another battle which had aroused national fervour was the battle of Tiger Hill in which the troops of 18 GRENADIERS had valiantly fought and evicted a well-entrenched enemy playing havoc on them.

It was sheer resilience and determination of these brave hearts who were undeterred by the enemy fire power and were willing to go the extra mile to dislodge the enemy from their positions.

Tiger Hill is symbolic to Operation Vijay and stands tall in Drass Sector as an epitome of the sacrifice, bravery and heroism of many unsung heroes who laid their lives in the capture of the feature.

During the Kargil war, the harsh terrain and weather conditions did not dampen the spirits of the soldiers nor were they deterred by the enemy.

“The objective of the trek during these celebrations was to evoke the spirit of patriotism and pay homage to the gallant soldiers of the Kargil war, ” an army officer said.

The team, comprising an officer and 15 other ranks and one veteran Junior Commissioned officer, moved from Drass and summited Tiger hill.

During the expedition, the team spread the message of ”Remember the Fallen”.

“The exuberance and spirit exhibited by the team members is worth emulating, ” the defence ministry spokesman said recently.


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