- Every year on July 26, Kargil Vijay Diwas is observed to honour the heroes of the Kargil War in which India evicted Pakistani intruders and succeeded in recapturing Tiger Hill and other posts as a part of "Operation Vijay".
Kargil Vijay Diwas is observed every year on July 26 to honour the heroes of the Kargil War, in which India evicted Pakistani intruders and successfully reclaimed Tiger Hill and other posts as part of “Operation Vijay.” The armed conflict in Kargil, Ladakh, lasted more than 60 days.
The war took place in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil district between May and July 1999. General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s army chief at the time, is thought to have orchestrated the battle. Finally, in the last week of July, the Indian Army, with the assistance of the Indian Air Force, brought the war to a close.
Every year on this day, we remember the hundreds of Indian soldiers who were killed in Pakistan’s war. Several events are also held across the country to honour the Indian Armed Forces’ contributions.
Let us look at the ten war heroes and their extraordinary stories of bravery and courage that India will always be proud of. Their bravery, courage, and enthusiasm stories are larger than life.
Captain Vikram Batra
Vikram Batra, born on September 9, 1974, in Palampur, joined the IMA in the Manekshaw Battalion in June 1996. On December 6, 1997, he graduated from IMA and was commissioned as a Lieutenant into the 13th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. Captain Vikram Batra immortalised himself by turning the tagline “Yeh dil mange more” (My heart begs for more) into an iconic war cry while displaying enemy machine guns captured in the Kargil war on national television.
Posthumously, Batra received the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest gallantry award. Shershaah, a film based on the life of Vikram Batra, was recently released. He was dubbed the “Tiger of Drass,” “Lion of Kargil,” “Kargil Hero,” and other titles. Pakistanis named him Sher Shah after the fearsome warrior king of mediaeval India.
Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav
He was the sole survivor of an attack on Tiger Hill on May 10, 1980, in which he took 15 bullets. On July 4, 1999, he was a member of the Ghatak platoon that recaptured three strategic bunkers on Tiger Hill. Yadav led the assault but was met with heavy fire from the Pakistani side, killing many of his colleagues. Yadav was hit by several bullets, rendering his left arm immobile.
Yadav, determined to succeed, strapped his arm with a belt, wrapped a bandana around his leg, and continued to fight the enemy. In close combat, he killed four enemy soldiers and silenced the automatic fire. This allowed the rest of his platoon to climb up the cliff and seize the positions.
He received the Param Vir Chakra at the age of 19, making him the youngest recipient of the award.
Yogendra Singh Yadav told DD National in an interview, “A soldier is similar to a selfless lover. This unconditional love inspires determination. And for this love of his country, regiment, and fellow soldiers, a soldier is willing to risk his life.”
Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey
Manoj Kumar Pandey, born on June 25, 1975 in Rudha village, Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh, served in the 1/11 Gorkha Rifles. His team was tasked with clearing enemy positions so that his unit would not be exposed. The battleground was Khalubar.
He led his team bravely and was shot on a ledge, but he made it to the top of a cliff. He blasted enemy fortifications before succumbing to gunfire. His valour eventually resulted in Khalubar’s capture.
According to his father, he joined the Indian Army with the sole intention of receiving the highest gallantry award, the Param Vir Chakra, which he eventually received posthumously.
Lieutenant Balwan Singh
Lieutenant Balwan Singh, born in October 1973 in Sasrauli, Haryana, was tasked on July 3, 1999, with his Ghatak Platoon to attack Tiger Hill from the north-east as part of a multi-pronged attack.
He was Tiger Hill’s Tiger. Despite his injuries, Lt. Singh was able to kill four enemy soldiers in the ensuing close battle. The remaining Pakistani soldiers chose to flee rather than face the wrath of the brave Indian officer. He raised the Indian tricolour on Tiger Hill and was awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his valour.
Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari
Major Rajesh Adhikari, born in Nanital in December 1970, was in command of three 10-man squads attempting to take a bunker at 16,000 feet near the Tololing feature. In retaking Tololing, he displayed exceptional bravery by engaging in direct combat with Pakistani soldiers manning the bunkers.
Major Adhikari was shot multiple times and died beyond enemy lines on May 15. He was the second army officer to be killed during the Kargil conflict. His body was discovered thirteen days later. In his pocket was an unread letter from his wife. He was posthumously awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his bravery.
Rifleman Sanjay Kumar
Rifleman Sanjay Kumar was born in Kalol Bakain, Himachal Pradesh, in March 1976, and had previously been rejected by the Army three times. He is the youngest of the three surviving Param Vir Chakra recipients in the Indian Army.
He was a member of a column tasked with capturing the region Flat Top of Point 4875 in the Mushkoh Valley during the Kargil conflict.
When the column stalled due to automatic fire from one of the enemy bunkers, Kumar charged them from the front. He was hit on the leg and hip. He did, however, destroy a bunker by himself after others in his unit were killed.
Major Vivek Gupta
Major Vivek Gupta was born in Dehradun. On June 13, 1999, he was in command of the leading Charlie Company when the 2 Rajputana Rifles launched a Battalion attack on Tololing Top in the Drass Sector.
He was leading a perilous mountain assault against Pakistani intruders. In Drass, he took two bunkers before enemy gunfire ripped his torso apart.
The Major lay in the snow with his dead companions for two days. On June 13, 1992, he was killed in action, exactly seven years after being commissioned in the 2nd Rajputana Rifles.
He was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, India’s second-highest military honour.
Captain N Kenguruse
Born in Kohima District, Nagaland, in July 1974, he led the task of storming an enemy machine gun position on a cliff face that was significantly interfering with all approaches to the Battalion’s main target. Heavy mortar and automatic fire began as the commando unit climbed the cliff face, resulting in heavy losses.
A splinter struck the officer in the abdomen. Despite the fact that he was severely bleeding, he ordered his men to continue the assault. Because of his valour, he was able to single-handedly neutralise the enemy’s position, allowing the battalion to advance.
Posthumously, he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, India’s second-highest military honour.
Lt. Keishing Clifford Nongrum
In March 1975, he was born in Shillong, Meghalaya, and was tasked with assaulting the feature of the South-Eastern direction in the operation to seize Point 4812 in the Batalik Sector. He manoeuvred his column across the nearly vertical cliff face. The enemy used automatic fire to pin down Lt. Keishing Clifford Nongrum’s column for nearly two hours. Regardless, he threw grenades into it, killing six enemy soldiers while disregarding his own safety. He was then shot while attempting to steal the enemy’s universal machine gun from the second position.
He fought bravely until he died from his injuries. He was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, India’s second-highest military honour.
Naik Digendra Kumar
In the month of July 1969, I was born in Sikars, Rajasthan. He was the commander of the Light Machine Gun Group during his company’s assault on the Tololing feature in Drass Sector. The main objective was to capture a well-defended enemy position. He was the commander of the Light Machine Gun Group during his company’s assault on the Tololing feature in Drass Sector.
The main objective was to capture a well-defended enemy position. As a result, the opponent’s head dropped and his own guy advanced towards the goal. Following the effective cover fire, his own forces charged the opposing position and cleared it after a difficult hand-to-hand battle.
In 1999, he was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, India’s second-highest military decoration.