20 years ago, Indian Army fought the Pakistani army who infiltrated into Indian territory and captured Indian posts in Kargil. The supreme sacrifice of Indian soldiers fighting in the most difficult terrain recaptured all the Indian posts and since then July 26 has been observed annually to commemorate the sacrifices made by soldiers in this war
Lest we forget our real heroes…
What, When, How and Where of Kargil War ’99
* In the months of May, June and July of the year 1999, the war took place in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir.
* It began when Pakistan army troops and terrorists infiltrated into Indian territory and occupied the higher posts of Indian army.
* It is believed that the then Pakistani army chief General Pervez Musharraf orchestrated the attack even without the knowledge of the then Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
* The infiltrators positioned themselves in key locations that gave them a strategic advantage during the start of the conflict.
* Local shepherds were the ones who provided the key information on points of incursion and hence the Indian army launched “Operation Vijay”.
THE KARGIL WAR
* The Pakistani soldiers and terrorists had positioned themselves at higher altitudes and it gave them strategic advantage. They could fire down at advancing Indian troops.
* Two Indian fighter jets were shot down while another fighter jet crashed during the operation.
* Pakistan pleaded the US intervention, however the then President Bill Clinton declined saying ‘first withdraw Pakistani troops from the Line of Control’.
* As Pakistani troops withdrew, the Indian armed forces attacked the rest of the outposts, managing to get back the last of them by July 26.
AFTER THE WAR
* Pakistan initially denied any role, saying it was a face-off between Indian army and “Kashmiri freedom fighters.” However, it later awarded its soldiers medals for the conflict, removing any doubt of its involvement.
* India, then, increased its defence spending in the budget next year. However, the procurement irregularities marred the modernisation process.
The victory came at a high price. The official death toll on the Indian side was 527, while that on the Pakistani side was between 357 and 453.
Kargil War Memorial
Built by the Indian army, the Kargil War memorial wall in Dras has inscriptions of all the Indian soldiers who lost their lives in the war. The Memorial also has a museum with documents, recordings and pictures of the Indian soldiers at Kargil.
The Army declared the mission successful on July 26, 1999; since then the day has been celebrated annually as Vijay Diwas.
* Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers, Param Vir Chakra
* Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey, 1/11 Gorkha Rifles, Param Vir Chakra, Posthumous
* Captain Vikram Batra, 13 JAK Rifles, Param Vir Chakra, Posthumous
* Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles, Param Vir Chakra
* Captain Anuj Nayyar, 17 JAT Regiment, Maha Vir Chakra, Posthumous
* Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari, 18 Grenadiers, Maha Vir Chakra, Posthumous
Source: Times of India