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Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated to commemorate the victory of India's Operation Vijay in Kargil War or the Kargil conflict. The most significant armed conflict between India and neighbouring country Pakistan took place between May 3 and July 26, 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line Of Control (LOC). Ever since, July 26 is observed as Kargil Vijay Diwas in India.
Victory came at a price of lives, as India had to sacrifice a number of countrymen at the battlefield. This historic feat of our bravehearts not only makes every Indian proud, but turns us extremely emotional as we gear up for the Kargil Vijay Diwas each year.
Families that lost their sons, brothers or fathers still cannot stop mourning. However, their grief is always overpowered by a sense of honour for the family members who served our motherland till their last breath.
On this occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas, we bring you a collection of stories of such legendary heroes.
Captain Vikram Batra
This Indian Army officer was posthumously awarded with the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest and most prestigious gallantry award. He led an operation that is known to be one of the toughest operations in Indian history. He is also referred to as "Sher Shah" in Pakistani intercepted messages for his extraordinary bravery and unwavering spirit.
Captain Anuj Nayyar
He joined Indian Army's 17th battalion of Jat regiment in 1997. He lost his life while fighting to secure Pt. 4875, a mountain peak that was significant to the Army due to it strategic location. During the operation, he was injured by a rocket propelled grenade used by the enemy. He continued leading his contingent and ensured to clear the last bunker on Pt. 4875 before succumbing to the injuries. He was only 24 years old at the time of death. He was awarded with posthumous Mahavir Chakra, India's second highest gallantry award.
Captain Vijayant Thapar
He was born in a military family and always looked up to his father as an idol. He was handed the responsibility of capturing Three Pimples, Knoll and Lone Hill area. The troop was attacked by the enemy and on June 28, 1999. Captain Vijayant Thapar was hit by a burst of fire while passing through the narrow ridge beyond Knoll area. He martyred at the age of 22 and was posthumously awarded with Vir Chakra for his supreme sacrifice.
The proud father of Vijayant shared his thoughts with scoopwhoop, "Young men like Vijayant did what the nation expected of them - their duty. Actually, the war at Kargil brought the best in the Indian nation - those like Capt. Vijayant, who fought bravely and fell honourably to redeem India's sanctity and the countrymen who showered their love and their support for the brave hearts. We, of course, feel proud of what he has done, but losing a young son is painful and we go through it every day of our life."
Captain Saurabh Kalia
He was part of Indian Army's patrolling team and was captured by the Pakistani Army along with five fellow soldiers. They were captivated as the prisoners of war, tortured mercilessly and finally killed. Appeals and petitions to bring justice against this unethical war crime have been going on for years now. However, Pakistan has always denied the charges of torture.
Major Acharya's family
Major Padmapani Acharya
Major Acharya, an officer from the Rajputana Rifles, lost his life during the actions of Kargil War on the fateful day of June 28, 1999. This brave army-man was assigned the duty of capturing an enemy position that was surrounded by mine fields, sweeping machine guns and artillery fire. He did not care for his life and continued leading amidst the danger. He is survived by his mother, his wife who gave birth to their daughter Aparajita post his demise.
In his mother's words, "As a mother, I am definitely sad and hurt but as a patriot, I am proud of my son. He lives forever. He made me promise that I would not cry when he left for the front."
Lance naik Nirmal Singh
He belonged to the 8 Sikh regiment and sacrificed his life atop Tiger Hill on July 6, 1999 during the Kargil War. His wife Jaswinder Kaur single-handedly raised their son who was only 3 at that time.
The brave lady still holds her husband's uniform at a very high regard. ''It (his uniform) was his honour and is now my constant companion. I wash it and iron it regularly and hold it whenever I look for some direction. A true soldier's uniform is like a lighthouse for me. I've treaded on the path of bringing up my son to be a true soldier's son." - She told to scoopwhoop.
Stories of these courageous superheroes continue inspiring us towards building a better tomorrow for India.