Capt Vikram Batra is still watching over the Kargil hills and guarding the nation, his twin brother said after scaling the peak where the war hero died 20 year ago fighting the Pakistan Army. Vishal Batra said it was a "dream come true" for him to reach the peak which is now known as the Batra Top.
"It's a dream come true. I have been thinking for 20 years and finally I got the chance to be here at Point 4875, now Batra Top," Vishal told reporters. "I feel Vikram is still in these heights. Vikram is watching me. I am fortunate I had a sibling like Vikram. He is watching over these mountains. His spirit is here. He is still securing these heights and the nation," he said.
Vishal, along with 11 soldiers of the Indian Army, reached the Batra Top on Sunday. The team moved from Drass and set forth on their trek across the harsh terrain to reach Point 4875. On July 26, 1999, Indian troops recaptured several mountain tops, including Point 4875, overlooking the strategic Srinagar-Leh highway from Pakistani intruders that decisively tilted the war in India's favour.
Many battles define the Kargil War and one such battle which stands out is the battle of Point 4875. Recapturing the peak was pivotal during Operation Vijay and 13 JAK RIF 'Bravest of the Brave' had achieved the impossible during this battle. Twenty years later, the Indian soldiers are again scaling the jagged heights and recreate the victory scenes to mark the anniversary of the war.
After reaching the peak, Vishal made a call to his parents. He also thanked the Indian Army and the Ministry of Defence for giving him the opportunity to pay homage to braveheart soldiers and his brother.
"The Kargil War is known for the determination, bravery, courage and daring mettle of the Indian Army troops who took to task the enemy intruders occupying strategic heights in Indian territory," an officer said. As part of celebrating the Kargil victory, commemorative treks were organized by 13 JAK RIF 'Bravest of the Brave' and 18 Grenadiers to the Batra Top and Tiger hills on Monday.
A resident of Himachal Pradesh, Vishal, chanted slogans of "Durga Mata Ki Jai" and "Teevir Tehra" on reaching the peak. He was accompanied by 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Y K Joshi, the then Commanding Officer of 13 JAK rifles, Param Vir Chakra (PVC) awardee Sub Sanjay Kumar and other officers.
"To me it is visiting a shrine. I came here first time in 2009. I have been alternatively coming here since then," Vishal said. Another battle which had aroused national fervour was the battle of Tiger Hill in which the troops of 18 Grenadiers had valiantly fought and evicted a well-entrenched enemy playing havoc on them.
It was sheer resilience and determination of these brave hearts who were undeterred by the enemy fire power and were willing to go the extra mile to dislodge them from their positions, the officer said. The Tiger Hill is symbolic to Operation Vijay and stands tall in Drass sector as an epitome of the sacrifice, bravery and heroism of many unsung heroes who laid their lives in the capture of the feature, he said.
During the Kargil War, the harsh terrain and weather conditions did not dampen the spirits of the soldiers. The 13 JAK RIF was awarded the battle honour "Mushkoh & Drass" and theatre honour 'Kargil" and there were gallantry awards to include two Param Vir Chakras and three Vir Chakras.
The celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the war will be spread over three days, from July 25 to July 27.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)