New Delhi: Today marks the 21st death anniversary of Kargil War hero Captain Vikram Batra. He sacrificed his life while fighting intruders from Pakistan during the 1999 Kargil War.
Born on September 9, 1974, in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, he started his military career from December 6, 1997, with the 13th battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles of Indian Army.
Captain Vikram Batra was part of one of the most crucial battles during the Kargil war which included capturing Tololing mountain range and Pt 4875. The Pakistani Army dreaded him – so much so that they called him “Sher Shah”.
Capturing Tololing mountain ridge and peak 5140
When the war began in May 1999, Vikram Batra and his troop was summoned on June 6 to join in the Dras sector of Jammu and Kashmir. The 13 JAK RIF was kept in reserve for the 2nd battalion of Rajputana Rifles (RAJ RIF).
The troop was tasked with recapturing the Tololing mountain ridge which was taken over by the Northern Light Infantry who were aided by Pakistan. Several attempts were made by the army to capture the area earlier, but it remained unsuccessful.
On 13 June 1999 Vikram Batra’s troop was able to recapture the ridge. On June 20, Batra’s team moved to another point in the same ridgeline about 1600 metres north of Tololing which is known as Peak 5140.
It is located at an altitude of over 5000 metres above sea level. There the battalion used in hand-to-hand combat to fight the enemy soldiers. After recapturing the peak, Batra used a coded message ‘Yeh Dil Maange More’ to inform his seniors about mission success.
On 30th June the battalion then started moving to Mushkoh Valley where they had to recapture Point 4875. It was imperative to capture the area as the mountain range dominated the National Highway 1 from Dras to Matayan.
The enemy had a direct view of a huge stretch of the national highway. Batra was accompanied by other colleagues Lieutenant Anuj Nayyar and Lieutenant Naveen. On July 7, a fierce battle ensued in the area with heavy machine gun firing from the enemy front. Batra and his colleagues were grievously injured but continued to fight.
When Lt Naveen was shot in the leg, Captain Batra ran to save his life. While trying to drag him to safety, the enemy open fired. While Batra managed to escape the firing, he was hit with a stray splinter from a rocket-propelled grenade.
Vikram Batra: Indian army tribute
Batra was posthumously honoured with the highest military honour, the Paramveer Chakra. On Tuesday, the Indian army paid a tribute to captain Batra with a video about his bravery.
#21YearsofKargil#MushkohDay,when most conspicuous bravery of Capt #VikramBatra, PVC(P) & Rfn Sanjay Kumar, PVC in face of enemy facilitated capture of Pt 4875 by 13 JAK RIF; both awarded #PVC,a rare & distinct first in #IndianArmy history.@adgpi— NorthernComd.IA (@NorthernComd_IA) July 7, 2020
Tribute "#IAmBack"- @MajorAkhill pic.twitter.com/w3vvyIJ73w