Kargil Vijay Diwas (Victory Day)

Kargil Vijay Diwas (Victory Day)

Kargil warIn 1999, Pakistani soldiers infiltrated Indian territory in Kargil. The Indian Defense Forces bravely retaliated, leading to a full-fledged conflict known as the Kargil War.  Captain Vikram Batra, a renowned hero of the Kargil War, is honored in the film “Shershaah,” which highlights his bravery and Sacrifices.Kargil Vijay DiwasWhat was the Kargil War? What were the reason that led to it and what happened exactly ?

On 3rd May 1999, in a small village in the Batalik region, a local shepherd named Tashi Namgyal noticed something strange while searching for his lost yak with a friend. Through binoculars, he saw armed men digging bunkers, which made him suspicious that they were from the other side of the Line of Control (LoC). Tashi immediately informed the nearest Indian Army post about his discovery.Tashi NamgyalThe Indian Army took Tashi’s information seriously and verified its accuracy. They realized that this was not a minor intrusion but a well-planned attack by the Pakistani army. Intrusions were reported in the Dras, Kaksar, and Mushkoh sectors during the Kargil War. Pakistani forces occupied more than 130 posts with the aim of blocking the crucial national highway NH-1. Their objective was to cut off Kashmir from Ladakh. The operation was codenamed “Operation Badr.Kargil WarThe Kargil War intrusions were a direct breach of the 1972 Shimla Agreement, violating the commitment made by India and Pakistan to never cross the Line of Control (LoC) and resolve issues peacefully through bilateral means. Sadly, just months before the conflict, former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had made a remarkable peace effort by visiting Lahore and signing the Lahore Declaration with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.Shimla Agreement,Only three months after the peace effort with Pakistan, large-scale intrusions by Pakistani soldiers showed that there were elements in Pakistan opposing peace. In response, India launched a counterattack, codenamed Operation Vijay, mobilizing thousands of troops to the Kargil sector. On May 26th, the Indian Air Force initiated Operation Safed Sagar (White Sea) to drive out Pakistani troops from Indian territory. It was the first time India deployed air power in such a challenging environment. However, the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, ordered not to cross the Line of Control (LoC) into Pakistan to maintain a defensive stance and showcase India’s restraint.Operation VijayThis diplomatic move garnered international support for India, with the European Union, ASEAN, the United States, and G8 countries all backing India during the Kargil War.The US President Bill Clinton pressured Nawaz Sharif to withdraw Pakistani soldiers during the Kargil War. The world recognized India was right and Pakistan was wrong, but on the ground, Pakistani troops held an advantage with higher ground positions in the cold mountainous region. The extreme conditions, with temperatures dropping to -40 degrees Celsius, made the battle immensely difficult. However, the Indian Army’s spirit of resilience prevailed with the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”Kargli WarThe Battle of Tololing in the Kargil War marked a turning point. Recapturing the hill was a daunting task for Indian forces due to its location at 16,000 feet with temperatures ranging from -5 to 11 degrees Celsius. Enemy positions above fired relentlessly, making the ascent possible only during bad weather and moonless nights. Captain Ajit Singh and others attempted the climb, carrying minimal supplies due to the harsh conditions. It was estimated to take fit soldiers 11 hours to reach the top of Tololing hill.kargil warMajor Rajesh Adhikari led a company to climb the mountain during the Kargil War, and they made significant progress. However, when they were about 15 meters from the intruders, they were spotted and faced heavy enemy firing. Major Adhikari and two soldiers were martyred in hand-to-hand combat. The rest of the company had to retreat and became trapped between 15,000 feet and approximately 1,000 feet below the top. They were low on grenades and needed reinforcements. Colonel Ravindranath handpicked 90 soldiers to help and recapture Tololing hill. Several people from the local area were enlisted to carry heavy ammunition to the top. Physical strength and more personnel were crucial for the mission’s success.Kargil WarOn 12th June, they successfully reached the trapped soldiers, only a thousand feet away from the enemy. Colonel Ravinderanath inspired his soldiers with a fiery pep talk. For four hours, heavy firing ensued, with over 10,000 shells and more than 120 artillery guns used. The intense battle earned the ridge the name “Barbaad” (Destroyed) Bunker.

The soldiers were divided into three teams: Arjun, Bheem, and Abhimanyu. They successfully captured Tololing hill, led by Major Vivek Gupta, who sadly lost his life along with six other soldiers in a hand-to-hand battle. Next, they targeted Point 5140, the highest point in the ridge at 17,000 feet. The Indian Army captured ten humps leading to Point 5140. Lt. Col. Yogesh Kumar Joshi was assigned to capture Point 5140, and two groups were formed, led by Lieutenant Sanjeev Singh Jamwal and Lieutenant Vikram Batra (Shershaah). They were instructed to choose a success signal, with Lt. Sanjeev choosing “Oh Yeah Yeah,” and Lt. Vikram Batra choosing “Yeh Dil Maange More.”Vikram BatraOn 20th June, both groups successfully climbed Point 5140 without casualties. Lt. Vikram Batra’s success earned him a promotion to Captain. Tiger Hill, a major point, was also captured by a brave group of 22 soldiers, including Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, who survived despite being hit multiple times. Other missions were conducted to recapture remaining hilltops, including Point 4875, led by Captain Vikram Batra and Captain Anuj Nayyar. However, Captain Batra was martyred while rescuing a wounded lieutenant. India’s victory was almost sealed after the battle at Point 4875, and on 11th July, the Pakistani army began withdrawing. India successfully captured the remaining major points in Batalik, leading to the declaration of Operation Vijay’s success by Prime Minister Vajpayee on 14th July.Kargil WarOn 26th July, the Kargil War officially ended as the Indian Army announced the complete eviction of all intruders from Indian territory. This day is now celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas, commemorating the victory in the Kargil War.Kargil WarIn October 1999, a bloodless coup in Pakistan led General Pervez Musharraf to take control of the country after detaining Nawaz Sharif Musharraf was revealed as the chief strategist behind the Kargil plan, which involved intruding into India disguised as Kashmiri militants. This move aimed to disrupt peace talks between India and Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif claimed he had no prior knowledge of the Kargil plan. In 2019, Musharraf was Sentenced to death for treason, but the verdict was later overturned by the Lahore High Court. Meanwhile, in India, four soldiers received the Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry medal, for their bravery during the Kargil War.

Captain –     Vikarm Batra

Rifleman –   Sanjay Kumar

Lieutenant- Manoj Kumar Pandey

Grenadier-  Yogendra Singh Yadav

kargil WarOverall, it is estimated that around 527 Indian soldiers were martyred, and approximately 1300 were injured during the Kargil War.



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