Homage to Kargil Martyrs

K Kumar
The unfortunate partition of India in 1947 under the Mountbatten Plan has not done suffice to the satisfaction of those who wished to create Pakistan.
This is evident from the misadventures done in October 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999 by the Pakistan military. Having not learnt the lessons from the failure of their military operation like Operation Gulmarg (1947), Operation Gibralter (1965), Operation Chengiz Khan (1971), Pakistan army dared launch another Operation Badr in 1999 against India in Kargil, Ladakh. Indians owe their gratitude to the bravehearts of Indian defence forces on the Kargil Vijay Diwas being celebrated on 26th July to commemorate the victory of India over Pakistan in Kargil Armed Conflict popularly known as Kargil War.
The reason behind the Kargil conflict was Pakistan intrusion into the Indian side in the Kargil district of Ladakh by crossing over the line of control existing between India and Pakistan. The major objectives behind the intrusion in Kargil were to cut off the the National Highway 1D running between Srinagar and Leh so as to cut off the Indian army’s access to Siachin Glacier and to have advantageous access to Leh from the side of Aksai Chin by their so called Chinese friends.
On 15 May 1999, lieutenant Saurabh,Kalia and five other soldiers namely Sepoys Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh of the 4th Jat Regiment , while their routine patrolling noticed intruders who engaged with them in firefight. However, the group was captured by the Pak army intruders and these all were made prisoners of war. Their dead bodies were handed over to India on 9th June and were found highly mutilated as being tortured to the extreme before being shot dead at head and thus breaching Geneva Convention.
In response to the Kargil aggression, Indian Armed Forces in order to flush out the enemies out from India launched Operation Vijay by Indian army, Operation Safed Sagar by Indian Air Force and Operation Talwar by Indian Navy.
The conflict zone included four sub-sectors namely Mashkoh valley sub-sector, Drass sub-sector (popular Tiger hill and Tololing falls under Drass sub-sector), Kaksar sub-sector ( kaksar and Kargil falls under this sector) and Balatik sub-sector (Juber, Turtuk and Yaldor). The important points near the conflict zone were Sonamarg, Baltal, Matayen, Drass, Kaksar, Kargil, goma, Lamayuru and Leh.
On June 15, US President Bill Clinton urged Pakistan PM to withdraw troops from Kargil. On July 11, Pakistan having lost begins pull out and on July 14, India declared success of operation Vijay. And on 26th July the war came to an end officially.
In this war, India lost her 527 bravehearts and had more than 1300 wounded soldiers. In Kargil war four Param Vir Chakras (PVC) were given. The honoured include Captain Vikram Batra, from 13 JAK Rifles (Posthumous), Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey, 1/11 Gorkha Rifles (posthumous), Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles and Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers. Besides, the PVCs, our brave real heroes were conferred with Maha vir Chakras and Vir chakras.
In the memory of the Kargil war heroes Indian army has built Kargil War Memorial or Dras war memorial. The memorial attracts visitors coming to Ladakh. This memorial can become part of the circuit for military heritage tourism in Ladakh along with other places of similar interest in Jammu & Kashmir to promote patriotism and overall consciousness of national integration.
The Army is preparing extensively to honour the martyrs of the Kargil War of 1999 with a series of solemn ceremonies this year.
The primary event which shall mark the 24th commemoration of the Victory was scheduled to be held at ‘Kargil War Memorial’ located at Dras from 25th to 26th of Jul 2023. The commemoration will be attended by a large number of dignitaries of the Army and civil administration as well as gallantry award winners of the conflict and families of many martyrs. The conflict was fought in the summer of 1999 to evict Pakistani regular forces who had intruded and occupied winter vacated posts on the Indian side of the LOC, thereby violating an unwritten agreement. The operation cost the Indian Army hundreds of young lives, in whose memory the commemorative function is held every year. As a run up to the event, large no of competitions and events have been planned for the local population of the area who supported the operations whole heartedly risking their lives. Marathon race painting, archery, cricket and polo matches were planned from 15 June to 23 Jul. This event culminated on 24 Jul 23 with prize distribution and to be followed by commemorations at Kargil War Memorial, Dras on 25-26 July 23. Commemoration are a meaningful and earnest attempt by the Indian Army to pay solemn tributes to its fallen heroes and to remind the country of sacrifice made by our soldier to protect the sovereignty of their territory. The sterling deeds of those soldiers will be recounted with pride and will inspire future generations of our youth to live up to such exemplary conduct. The heroes of the Kargil war will be remembered for upholding the hallowed traditions of the Indian Army.