Indian Army Pays Homage To Kargil Martyrs

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To commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the 1999 Kargil War, the Indian army has arranged a series of functions. The ceremony is being conductedso as to pay tribute to the martyrs of the war, in which the nation lost hundreds of its young soldiers. The event is scheduled to be organised at the War Memorial in Dras on July 25 and 26 to mark the victory of the Indian Army.

The function will be attended by all the high ranking officers of the army and the civil administration, bravery award winners of the war and the families of the martyrs, as reported by The Hindu.

The Kargil War broke out between India and Pakistan due to invasion on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LOC) by the Pakistani troops in the Kargil region of Srinagar.

The disastrous war was fought by the troops of both sides at freezing temperatures. Kargil being only 173 kilometres from a Pakistani town, Skardu, made artillery easily available to the Pakistani troops, adding to the hardship of the Indian soldiers.

As the war progressed, intrusion by the Pakistani troops increased and they went on to destruct the ammunition dump in Kargil. After which, the Indian Army moved more troops from Kashmir to Kargil.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) also played a significant role in the war contributing greatly to the victory of the Indian side. It launched air strikes against infiltrators and lost two fighter planes, an MIG 21 and an MIG 27.

Flight Lieutenant Kambampati Nachiketa had made an attempt to attack the enemy concentration. However, in his second attempt, the engine flamed out forcing him to eject. He was then caught by the Pakistani troops after few hours as the first Indian prisoner of war (POW).  Another fighter plane MI 17 was shot down by the Pakistani troops next day and it took away the lives of four air crew members. Pakistan then attacked the National Highway (NH)-1 which is now renumbered as NH-44.

The Indian army then went on to fight the crucial Battle of Tololing against Northern life infantry who were aided by the Pakistan army. Half of the total losses of the whole war were the casualties on the Tololing peak.

On June 15, 1999 the then American President Bill Clinton asked the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif to end the war. But the battle was at its crucial and Clinton’s statement did not make much difference. Later in between the on-going war, Nawaz Sharif visited the White House to meet President Clinton and it was one of “the most ferocious encounters in politics,” according to the American President.

One of the major achievements for the Indian army during the Kargil War was its capture of the two most vital posts near Tiger Hill. Following which, the army also went on to recapture the once-lost Tiger Hill completely after a strenuouseleven hour battle.

The Indian Army also took complete control of Dras which finally ended the war followed by Prime Minister Sharif’s announcement of the withdrawal of the Pakistani army.
The war had broken out on May 3, 1999 and came to an end on July 11, 1999.On July 14 Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Bajpayee declared Operation Vijay a success. On July 26, the Kargil war was officially announced as having ended.

After a harsh struggle of nearly two months the Indian soldiers succeeded to safeguard the dignity of the nation and returned as heroes.

The event on the 25 and 26 of July this year is a purposeful attempt by the army to remember the martyrs and honour the real heroes of the nation.
This is the time to salute our Indian Soldiers who have sacrificed their lives to safeguard the country and its people; who have given up their comforts to ensure ours.
We salute the Indian Army.

Jai Hind!

Ratanpriya Sharma

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