Kargil Vijay Diwas: How India Won The War Against Pakistan

Kargil Vijay Diwas (Source: Twitter) - Sakshi Post

Kargil Vijay Diwas is a day that marks the valour of our Army men as also reminding us our militay prowess. It was on July 26, nineteen years ago that India defeated Pakistan in the Kargil conflict. India lost 530 soldiers in the war which lasted three months in the icy peaks and treacherous slopes of Kargil. The war was seen as a challenging one given the conditions under which it was fought—high altitude, rough terrain. As part of Operation Vijay, The Indian Army personnel successfully recaptured Tiger Hill after evicting Pakistani intruders.

India marks this day of India's victory as Kargil Vijay Diwas by paying tributes to the brave hearts who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the country and also honours wives and kin of martyrs.

Memorial of Operation Vijay (Souce: Wikipedia)

How India Won Operation Vijay

India began Operation Vijay to weed out Pakistani infiltrators from the Kargil sector along the Line Of Control in India.

1999 Kargil War between India and Pakistan

The war between India and Pakistan was fought in the period between May and July 1999 in Jammu and Kashmir's Kargil district. This was also the first televised war keenly followed by the entire world. This was a time when electronic media had just emerged so most satellite TV channels sent their own reporters to cover the war live. Real footage from the battle zone was telecast live. On the other hand, conflicting editorials in Pakistan media forced India to block the country-owned PTV while placing a temporary embargo on news coming in from Pakistan. Online edition of Dawn was also blocked.

When local shepherds first reported Pakistani intrusion in Kargil on May 3, the Kargil Brigade told the commanding officers: “Some rats have come in. Throw them out.” Even though defence minister George Fernandes hoped to evict Pakistani intruders in 48 hours, the war went on for nearly three months as the intruders fired artillery shells with accuracy as they had the advantage of height. It was then that the Indian Army understood the gravity of the situation. The soldiers figured that these men were no ordinary intruders but Pakistani Armymen who were trained to carry out the act after months of planning as was evident in the way they had set up bunkers. That’s when Indian soldiers changed their tack and won the war.

The main entrance of Kargil War Memorial by the Indian Army at Dras

Kargil War Timeline Of Events

May 4, 1999: Pakistani infiltrators spotted atop Kargil heights

May 5-15, 1999: Captain Saurabh Kalia, who was part of the Army patrol to survey the place goes missing. Pakistani troops kill him after alleged torture in captivity

May 26, 1999: The IAF strikes—MiG-21s, MiG-23s, MiG-27s, Jaguars and the Mirage 2000 hit insurgent positions.

May 27, 1999: IAF MiG-27 pilot taken prisoner by Pakistan after he ejects safely after the plane goes down. The neighbouring country frees him after a week.

May 31, 1999: Prime Minister AB Vajpayee terms Kargil situation a war-like

June 10, 1999: India angry after receiving mutilated bodies of six Army jawans, including that of Lt Saurabh Kalia who was sent to Kaksar to check incursion by Pakistani intruders. The most unfortunate aspect of it all was that choppers couldn't fly in for casualty evacuation of several wounded soldiers who lay in the snow for nearly two days.

June 12, 1999: First crisis meeting between foreign minister Jaswant Singh and Sartaj Aziz in Delhi ends in a deadlock.

June 15, 1999: Bill Clinton, the then US President asks Pakistan PM to pull out troops from Kargil

June 29, 1999: Indian Army successfully captures two key positions near Tiger Hill

July 4, 1999: Three battalions—8 Sikh, 2 Naga and 18 Grenadiers—attack the peak with artillery support. Tiger Hill Captured. “The enemy fought like tigers to retain it, but even while our men were in the midst of this battle,” said the Indian defence minister. Bill Clinton meets Nawaz Sharif in Washington

July 5, 1999: Pakistan PM announces withdrawal of troops from Kargil

July 11, 1999: Withdrawal of Pakistan troops begin

July 14, 1999: Operation Vijay a success: India

July 26,1999: All Pakistani intruders evicted from India, marks the end of Kargil war.

Kargil War casualties: While 450 trained Pakistani intruders are believed to have died in Kargil war, the toll on the Indian side is said to be 530.

Indian soldiers after winning a battle during the Kargil War (Source: Wikipedia)

Soldiers on both sides received gallantry awards here's a look at the Indian army officials who earned gallantry awards for their bravery

• Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers, Param Vir Chakra

• Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey, 1/11 Gorkha Rifles, Param Vir Chakra, Posthumous

• Captain Vikram Batra, 13 JAK Rifles, Param Vir Chakra, Posthumous

• Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles, Param Vir Chakra

• Captain Anuj Nayyar, 17 JAT Regiment, Maha Vir Chakra, Posthumous

• Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari, 18 Grenadiers, Maha Vir Chakra, Posthumous

• Captain Haneef-u-ddin, 11 Rajputana Rifles, Vir Chakra, posthumous

• Major Mariappan Saravanan, 1 Bihar, Vir Chakra, Posthumous

• Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja, Indian Air Force, Vir Chakra, Posthumous

• Havildar Chuni Lal, 8 JAK LI, Vir Chakra. Also awarded Sena Medal for gallantry and posthumously awarded Ashoka Chakra as a Naib Subedar.

Soon after the war, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee proposed a Kargil Review Committee to conduct a thorough enquiry into the causes that responsible for Kargil war and find out what led to Intelligence lapses. Eminent Strategic Affairs analyst K Subrahmanyam chaired the committee who submitted a report after which Indian Intelligence underwent a reshuffle.

PS: A lot of research has gone into writing this article. Should you find any factual errors, please feel free to correct and add value to this piece.

Also Read: Kargil Vijay Diwas Posters

Twitterati paid rich tributes to Indian soldiers on Kargil Vijay Diwas. Have a look at the tweets...

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