It was in the year 1999 some Pakistani soldiers infiltrated Indian territory and Indian defence forces retaliated bravely. Soon there was a war going on between India and Pakistan, the war is known as KARGIL WAR OF 1999. Kashmir became a place of international intrigue and war between India and Pakistan. 22 years ago, India was betrayed by its neighbouring country Pakistan. at that time our prime minister was Atal Bihari Vajpayee he stated that “we wanted peace the world saw that. now the world will see what will we do to protect the peace”.
The Kargil war had many heroes and one of the most important heroes was the captain “VIKRAM BATRA”. Yeah, I hope everyone knows whom am I talking about yeah, we recently saw the film sheershah. After seeing the movie, it inspired me to know about Vikram Batra here I am writing about him. so, let’s get into the matter what was the Kargil war? What led to it? And exactly what happened?
Our story begins on 3rd may 1999 in a small village in Batalik region there was a local shepherd Tashi Namgyal he lost his yak he went on search for it with help of his friend while looking through the binoculars he saw something weird he saw some armed men digging bunkers he quite found it fishy.
He got suspicious that those people were from the other side of LOC (line of control). so, he went to the nearest post of the Indian Army to inform them thankfully, the Indian army checked that and found out it was true. But this wasn’t a minor intrusion this was a well-planned attack by Pakistan army. Intrusions were reported in 3 sectors and they occupied up to 130 posts their aim was to block critically important national highway NH1 by blocking this they can cutoff relation between Kashmir and Ladakh.
But to retaliate against this Indian army launched a counter back that was given a code name Operation Vijay. Thousands of army troops were mobilized and sent to Kargil sector, then chief of the army was General was Bed Prakash Malik.
The Indian air force also played a very crucial role on 26th may they launched the operation safe, Sagar, it was aimed to remove Pakistan troops from the Indian border it also had a plan to cross LOC and eliminate a few of their troops but our former prime minister was against it and gave very formal orders that LoC should not be crossed. The reason was INDIA showed the world that it was a defensive war and Pakistani soldiers intruded into Indian territory.
We just want to remove them, and we are not interested in crossing the LOC. And wants to protect our country and it was a major diplomatic victory of India. In the next few weeks, the remaining countries like EUROPEAN UNION, ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM, THE UNITED STATES all countries supported India in this Kargil war
The then US president Bill Clinton pressured Nawaz Sharif to withdraw Pakistani soldiers the entire world could see India was right and Pakistan was wrong but talking about the ground situation the Pakistan troops and advantage because they were at a higher ground of mountains additionally this region gets very cold often the temperature there falls to -40 degree centigrade it is difficult for our soldiers to fight at that situation. But there was a popular saying in Indian army “when the going gets tough the tough get going”
In the Kargil war, the Battle of Tooling is considered to be the turning point, to recapture the tooling hill, was a difficult task for the Indian army the height was around 1600ft and the temperature was around -5 degrees centigrade to-11 degree centigrade with blanket firing from above because the enemies were placed higher in the hill. Because of these reasons for the Indian forces to move or try to climb that hill was possible only in bad weather and moonless night so when they move it doesn’t alert enemies
Captain Ajith Singh was among the officers who attempted this he recalled how to carry even 1 gram of extra weight meant often soldiers had to choose between carrying food or carrying ammunition food weighing 2kg, or 100 bullets our captain choose bullets and he said he survives for 3 days by smoking cigarettes without food considering all these conditions it was estimated that it will take 11 hours to reach the top of tooling hill for a fit solider
Major Rajesh Adhikari led a troop to reach the top his attempt was successful to a extend but when they were about 15 meters from the top intruders saw them and started firing Major Adhikari and two other soldiers were matured in hand to hand combat because of the heavy firing the rest of his company had to retreat and the company took 3 positions behind huge rocks as soon as they go behind the rocks the firing starts from the top so they were trapped there 15,000 feet above the base and approx. 1,000 feet below the top the situation was really bad because they didn’t have any remaining grandees
The Indian army made it their current priority to recapture the tooling hill colonel Rabindranath handpicked 90 soldiers to go help the soldiers who were stuck in between and recapture the hill on 12th June they were successful at reaching the solders stuck in middle the colonel have given a final pep talk to solders “I have given what you wanted. Now you have to give me what I want” the soldiers were so charged they asked him to meet them at the spot next day morning
The heavy firing lasted for 4 hours more than 10,000 shells and more than 120 artillery guns were fired later this ridgeline was named Barba ad bunker the plan was to divide soldiers into 3 teams Arjun, Bheema and Abhimanyu. The first team would lead frontal attacks, the second team would move to the other side of cliff at lower ridge and third team will cover fire they were successful in capturing the tooling hill.
But there was another hill called rocky knob(point 5140) between these tooling and rocky noob were 10 points known as humps from hump1 to 10 all these were easily captured by the Indian army so when they reached 5140 the capturing of the place was given to YOGESH KUMAR JOSHI after these two groups of soldiers were formed to climb the hill from 2 different direction 1 was under lieutenant Sanjeev Singh Jamal and the other was lieutenant Vikram Batra whose code was sheershah both were asked choose success signal and lieutenant Sanjeev chased “oh yeah ,yeah, yeah” and lieutenant Vikram Batra chose “ yes dill manage more”
On 20th June early hours both groups started climbing and both the groups were successful and both sent their success signal to command post and Vikram Batra was prompted as captain because of the mission at that point many Pakistan documents were recovered another major point was tiger hill one side of the tiger cliff was 1,000 feet vertical slant Indian army decided to surprise enemies so decide on climbing it. By reaching the half-height of its enemies got to know about it and started machine guns and as well as rockets, but the soldiers reached the top and captured the hill.
Many other missions were going on, but there was a point called 4875 this mission was assigned to captain Batra his companion was Anuj Nayyar 8th July the mission was successful at capturing this peek mission was almost completed captain Vikram Batra came out of his bunker to rescue a lieutenant who lost his legs in an explosion the enemy who was retreating fired a bullet that went straight through his chest and he died till today it is known as Batra top by 14 th July our prime minister declares the victory.
It was estimated that around 52 soldiers were killed, and 1300 soldiers were damaged Kargil And that is the Indian army for us Jai hind. Many of them don’t get the chance to look at their personal lives being inside it contributing to our country’s development and looking after their needy family is the tribute, we can pay for them. We can never match the sacrifices they do.