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Saluting Captain Vikram Batra: Kargil War Hero Who Was Nicknamed ‘Shershaah’

An awardee of Param Vir Chakra posthumously, which is India's highest and most prestigious military decoration, Captain Vikram Batra will be remembered as the greatest Kargil War hero. He was martyred during the Kargil War in 1999 between India and Pakistan. We will remember Vikram Batra for his distinguished acts of courage and valour to save his motherland. Let us know more about this brave Indian soldier.

Captain Vikram Batra: Birth, Education And Early Life

Born on 9 September 1974, in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh to Girdhari Lal Batra (Father) and Kamal Kanta Batra (Mother). While his father was a government school principal, his mother was a school teacher. On 15 August 1999, he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously, by the then President KR Narayanan.

Talking about his school days, Captain Vikram Batra attended DAV Public School in Palampur and then he received senior secondary education from Central School. While in college, he joined NCC and was awarded the best NCC Cadet (Air Wing) in the North Zone. Not many know that he was a green belt in Karate and attended the sport at the national level camp in Manali. He along with his brother also represented the school in Table Tennis at All India KVS Nationals.

Capt. Batra was selected for a 40-day training at Pinjore Airfield and Flying Club with his NCC Air Wing unit where he qualified for the 'C' certificate and was given the rank of Captain Vikram Batra in NCC.

Captain Vikram Batra: Kargil War And Martyrdom

Captain Vikram Batra joined IMA in the Manekshaw Battalion in June 1996. On December 6, 1997, after completing his 19-month training, he graduated from the IMA and was then commissioned as a lieutenant into the 13th battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. Later, he was sent to Jabalpur and Madhya Pradesh for further training that lasted for a month.

After his training was completed, he was posted to Sopore in Baramulla district, Jammu and Kashmir. During that time, the area had significant militant activity. In March 1998, to complete the Young Officer's Course, he was sent to Mhow, Madhya Pradesh for five months in an Infantry School. Upon completion, he was awarded alpha grading and rejoined his battalion in Jammu and Kashmir.

Captain Vikram Batra was sent to complete a two-month Commando Course at Belgaum, Karnataka in January 1999. After completion, he was awarded the highest grade - Instructor's Grade.

Before heading to the Kargil War, Captain Vikram Batra visited his hometown in 1999. There he met his best friend and fiance Dimple Cheema. When Dimple asked her to be careful in the war, he said, 'I'll either come back after raising the Indian flag in victory or return wrapped in it. But I'll come back for sure.'

Once his leave was over, he rejoined his battalion in Sopore. Around that time, his battalion, 13 JAK RIF, received an order to proceed to Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. According to a website, the battalion completed its counter-insurgency tenure in Kashmir under the 192 Mountain Brigade of 8 Mountain Division. But, on June 5, the orders were changed and the battalion was ordered to move to Dras in Jammu and Kashmir.

There was no casualty and no soldier died in the operation at Point 5140, Point 4700, Junction Peak and the Three Pimple Complex. After Point 5140, Batra was promoted to the rank of Captain. On June 26, the battalion received orders to move from Dras to Ghurmi to rest. On June 30, the battalion moved to Mushkoh Valley.

On July 7, before sunrise, the Indian army destroyed enemy machine guns but firing from the edge continued. At 5:30 hours, he was commanded to check the area and he spotted the position of the enemy sangar on the ledge. Without giving a second thought about his life, and ignoring heavy fire from the enemy, he along with other troops moved towards sangar and charged with his AK-47. Despite numerous injuries, he reached the narrow entrance of the sangar leaving the enemy in shock. He killed 5 enemy soldiers in close combat and 4 other members of the enemy troop who were operating machine gun nests.

By this time, Batra noticed that one of his men had been shot and then he took help of Sub. Raghunath Singh to save the injured soldier. It was during this time, Captain Batra was shot in the chest by an enemy sniper from a close range and also by a splinter from an RPG, which hit him in the head. Captain Vikram Batra, nicknamed 'Sher Shah', was martyred on 7 July 1999. The historic capture of Point 4875 led to the mountain being named Batra Top in his honour.

Captain Vikram Batra: Movies

In LOC: Kargil, a Bollywood movie which was released in 2003, the story was based on the entire Kargil conflict. It was actor Abhishek Bachchan who played the role of Captain Vikram Batra in the movie.

This year, on 12 August, 2021, Shershaah a film will trace his incredible life journey and it will be released on Amazon Prime Video. It is directed by Vishnu Varadhan and produced by Dharma Productions and Kaash Entertainment. The biopic stars Sidharth Malhotra as Captain Vikram Batra, Kiara Advani as Dimple Cheema (his girlfriend), Shiv Pandit, Raj Arjun, Pranay Pachauri, Himanshu Ashok Malhotra, Nikitin Dheer, Anil Charanjeett, Sahil Vaid, Shataf Figar and Pawan Chopra.

The nation salutes Captain Vikram Batra for his supreme sacrifice in winning the Kargil War!