As India celebrates 21 years of victory in the Kargil war, the nation remembers the valour, sacrifice and exemplary courage of our braves who gave their today for our tomorrow. We recount the valour of India's defence forces who fought back from a position of disadvantage to recapture territories occupied by Pakistan.
On this day in 1999, Indian armed forces snatched back one of the most hard-fought victories in history. Sitting on their high vantage points, Pakistan could see Indian Army’s every move, they bombed National Highway 1, Kargil’s only link to rest of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, to block supply lines but Indian troops marched on with aerial support from the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Soon, key positions like Tololing and Tiger Hill were taken back by India and amid international pressure, Pakistan announced the withdrawal of its troops. All Pakistani forces were pushed back by July 26, the day we now know and celebrate as Kargil Vijay Diwas.
Major Sonam Wangchuk, while leading a column of Ladakh Scouts in Batalik Sector, launched a raid on the enemy position from a flank, killing enemy soldiers. He was awarded Maha Vir Chakra, India's second-highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy.
With key points captured by the enemy forces, 'Operation Vijay' was launched by the Indian Army to clear the Kargil sector. The Indian Air Force's role in acting jointly with Indian Army ground troops during the war was aimed at flushing out regular and irregular troops of the Pakistani Army from vacated Indian positions in the Kargil sector along the Line of Control (LAC).
The war is the most recent example of high-altitude warfare in mountainous terrain, and as such posed significant logistical problems for the combating sides. It is also the sole instance of direct, conventional warfare between nuclear States.
Three-phases of Kargil War
There were three major phases of the Kargil War. First, Pakistan infiltrated forces into Kashmir and occupied strategic locations enabling it to bring NH-1 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 and the subsequent withdrawal of Pakistani forces back across the LoC after international pressure.
'Shershaah' of Kargil
Captain Vikram Batra, sacrificed his life-fighting enemy forces during the Kargil War in 1999, at the age of 24. He was given the highest wartime gallantry award Param Vir Chakra posthumously.
On Captain Vikram Batra's 21st Martyrdom Day, Sidharth Malhotra and other cast and crew members on July 7 had shared a video paying a tribute to the war hero and expressed their respect towards the entire Indian Army who sacrifices their lives at the border for the nation.
Kargil hero and Param Vir Chakra recipient Captain Vikram Batra's biopic is titled 'Shershaah.' Backed by Dharma Productions, 'Shershaah' also stars Kiara Advani in the female lead role.