India is celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas today when Indian soldiers successfully recaptured mountain heights that had seized illegally by Pakistani intruders.
Let’s have a look at some heroes of Kargil War:
Captain Vikram Batra
Capt Batra, the braveheart sacrificed his life for India while battling against Pakistani intruders. He was posthumously awarded the Paramveer Chakra, India’s highest military award. Due to his exemplary feat, Captain Vikram was awarded many titles. He came to be fondly called the ‘Tiger of Drass’, the ‘Lion of Kargil’, the ‘Kargil Hero’, and so on. Pakistanis called him Sher Shah after the ferocious warrior king of medieval India.
Going into battle, he had said, “I will either come back after raising the Indian flag in victory or return wrapped in it.”
On June 20, Captain Batra led his team to recapture the Peak 5140 from Pakistani troops. In that operation, he also had to engage in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy soldiers. Later, he sent out a message to inform senior officers in a codeword ‘Yeh dil maange more’, meaning that the Indian troops have gained control over Peak 5140.
Further, he was entrusted to hoist the Indian flag at Point 4875. Captain Batra with his colleagues including Lieutenant Anuj Nayyar and Lieutenant Naveen moved ahead for the mission on July 7 to recapture Point 4875, located in Mushkoh Valley.Point 4875 is around 16,000 feet high, but Captain did not stop there. He kept moving on despite heavy firing from the enemy. The intensity of the firing kept escalating and became dangerous as enemies were firing from the machine gun. Lt Naveen was hit by a bullet on his leg and seeing this Captain Batra ran quickly towards him to save him. Somehow while saving Lt Naveen, Captain managed to escape the bullets from the enemies but a stray splinter from a rocket-propelled grenade hit him in the head, that took his life.
Lieutenant Balwan Singh
Lt Balwan Singh, now a Colonel, was the Tiger of Tiger Hill. In the battle, he killed four enemy soldiers despite being seriously injured. The remaining Pakistani soldiers fled that facing wrath of the brave soldier.
He hoisted the Indian tricolor atop the Tiger Hill and was later awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his bravery. Before setting off for the Tiger Hill, he vowed , “We will hoist the Tricolour atop Tiger Hill, come what may.”
Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav
He was only 19 years old then who is now Subedar Major, the youngest person ever to be awarded with Param Vir Chakra.
Yadav was a part of the Ghatak platoon that recaptured three strategic bunkers on Tiger Hill on July 4, 1999. He led the attack but halfway through, the enemies started firing, killing his colleagues. Yadav also suffered bullet injuries but he did not stop himself. He strapped his arm in a belt, wrapped a bandana around his leg and continued to fight the enemy. He killed four enemy soldiers in close combat and silenced the automatic fire.This gave the rest of his platoon the opportunity to climb up the cliff and capture the positions.
Major Rajesh Adhikari
On May 14, 1999, Major Rajesh Adhikari led the central arm of three 10-man teams trying to capture a bunker at 16,000 ft at the Tololing feature.
However, he succumbed to his injuries on May 15. Adhikari was posthumously awarded Mahavir Chakra for his bravery.
Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey
Lieutenant Pandey was a soldier of 1/11 Gorkha Rifles. His team was assigned to clear enemy positions in order to prevent his battalion from getting exposed in the daylight. The battlefield was Khalubar.
Pandey was shot on a ledge but bravely made it to the top of a cliff. He destroyed bunkers before succumbing to bullets.