Jammu, July 26: Passion-filled salutes of soldiers and their officers at Drass war memorial in Kargil marked the “Vijay Diwas” on Sunday.
The saga of victory achieved after sacrifices and a new script of mountain warfare was written by the Indian army in trans-Himalayas 21 years ago.
Lt. Gen. Harinder Singh, Corps Commander of 14 Corps, named as Fire and Fury, led the wreath-laying ceremony to pay homage to more than 500 officers and soldiers at Drass I on Sunday. Drass is overlooked by Tiger Hills and other heights where maximum signatures of the Himalayan war are visible.
The Kargil War that started in May 1999 after Pakistani intrusions were detected in the Himalayan heights overlooking Srinagar-Leh highway, the lifeline of the Indian troops to Siachen glacier and the highest battlefield in the world, concluded with the victory of India on July 26.
Pakistanis had retreated to their side of the LoC unable to face the counter-offensive launched by India against Pakistani intrusions under “Operation Vijay”.
The Indian army was at a great disadvantage because it was on the ground and the Pakistanis were up high in the mountains and they had occupied Indian posts on this side of the LoC, so it was both a climb against the incessant volley of gunfire, artillery shelling, but also rocks that when rolled down by Pakistanis caused Indian casualties.
It became a saga of the fight between the rocks from Himalayan heights and vibrant spirit of the Indian army to win and recapture all the heights that Pakistan had surreptitiously occupied betraying a longstanding agreement of vacating the heights during winters and not to intrude into each other’s territory during this period.
This year’s victory day celebrations have two messages – one to Pakistan that the victory written for this day is irreversible and if there is any attempt at future misadventure, India may not restrain itself to its side of the borderline, Second, it broadcast a message to the Chinese troops at the LAC that the Indian army has the capability of turning impossible to possible. Kargil demonstrated that where all odds were against India, still, the victory was achieved with a stunning success from all the heights from Tiger Hill to other heights.