:: Army celebrates 10 yrs of Tiger Hill victory ::


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Army celebrates 10 yrs of Tiger Hill victory -
::Pay your tributes ::

It's been 10 years since the Kargil war. July 4, 1999 was when a vital victory for India was sealed.
It was war when 1 country (pakistan) army denied to accept own soldier bodies & those bodies cremated by other country(india) with full respect .

The recapture of Tiger Hill was a turning point during the Kargil conflict and the Indian Army did not look back after that victory.

And on Sunday the Army is looking back with pride ten years after the military operation and recapture of the formidable 5,062 metre-high mountain top from Pakistani Army regulars in Operation Vijay.

"Today is the tenth anniversary of our winning back the Tiger Hill from the Pakistani Army regulars, who were sitting on the top. Tiger Hill and Tololing range victories can be said to be the turning points of the war as from there on, there was nothing stopping the Indian Army till the time the war ended on July 26," a senior officer from the 56 Brigade in Drass said.

The celebrations, the officer said, are being held at the respective present locations of the units who won the battle.

"We would be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the battle at Drass on July 26, the day when the battle ended in favour of India and we wrested all our positions from the Pakistanis," he said.

Kargil-based 8 Mountain Division of the Indian Army is planning to honour the units and next of kin of the martyrs and the gallantry award winners during the celebrations.

"We have invited over 450 people including the representatives of the units, which took part in the action, the families of the martyrs along with the senior commanders of the region at that time," 8 Mountain Division Commander Major General Suresh Khajuria said.

The Army Chief and all the senior Commanders are going to be here for the event, he said.

Units from three regiments -- 18 Greandiers, 2 Naga and 8 Sikh -- were involved in the operations to recapture the feature dominating the National Highway A1 (NHA1) and from where the Pakistani troops were shelling Indian convoys moving towards Kargil and Leh in a bid to cut off Indian supply lines towards Siachen and the whole of Ladakh region.

Their attack was launched on the feature in the corresponding night of July 4-5, 1999 by two batallions and by next morning, they evicted the Pakistani troops belonging to 12 Northern Light Infantry, Special Forces, Engineers and Artillery from the feature.

After the operations, Havaldar Yogendra Yadav from 18 Greandiers was awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his exceptional display of gallantry in the intense battle for the peak.

Tiger Hill has sharp conical features, which stands among the mountain tops a few kilometres north of Drass. During the Kargil war, the picture of Indian troops after having captured the Tiger Hill became the symbol of the Indian victory in the war.

CNN-IBN's Pawan Bali met the heroes of Tiger Hill who got together once again after a decade to remember the soldiers they lost.


This 16,800 feet high peak sealed India's victory during the Kargil war. It was cleared after a battle of four nights, in which 132 guns were used and over 30 soldiers martyred.



The Leh-Srinagar National Highway 1A, which has now been renamed as I-D, was the main target of the intruders. The aim was to cut off this supply route to the region and Siachen base



Captain Sourav Kalia was one of the first six soldiers killed during the Kargil war. Their bodies returned mutilated. Ever year on his birthday and Vijay Diwas, the families receive hundreds of greetings from across the country.



On the way to Batalik you cross the Hambotingla Pass which is on 13,200 feet altitude. The peaks captured during the Kargil war were anywhere between 15,000 to 18,000 feet high.



In this pic: A woman from the Aryan tribe, Drogpas, in Batalik.

Over 600 families of this tribe helped the Army as porters and even provided food to the soldiers. A shepherd from this tribe was the first man to spot the intruders.



Inaccessibility and lack of road connectivity was the main problem during the Kargil war. Ten years later, most of the peaks have well metalled roads.



Kargil town, which was completely deserted during the war, recalls the close encounter with 62 days of bombing and constant enemy fire.



The intruders were barely three kilometers away from Drass town. People here still live under the shadow of that war that was at their doorsteps. Drass is the second coldest inhabited place in the world after Siberia.



Kargil war memorial in Drass where names of over 527 martyrs have been inscribed.




:india :salut :india


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Re: :: Army celebrates 10 yrs of Tiger Hill victor

Check this video ----

1. The naga warrior who walked on ice

Capt. Neikezhakuo Kenguruse, 25*
2 Rajputana Rifles, MAHA VIR CHAKRA

His moment: June 28, 1999, Lone Hill, Drass Sector. When his feet were slipping off a rock face at 16,000 foot and -10 degrees C, he kicked his boots off, got a foothold for his commandos, killed four enemy soldiers, before being shot off the cliff.

Nimbu sahab? to the Rajputs he commanded, Neibu to his family, he was destined to carry the No. 2 tag ? the second of Neiselie and Dino Kenguruse?s 12 children. Until the night of June 28, 1999 on Lone Hill in the Drass sector made him Nagaland?s martyr number one.
Belonging to a generation of Nagas that grew up hating or fighting the Indian army, few expected the wiry Neibu to don military colours. None certainly in his native village Nerhema (22 km north of Kohima) which was burnt down twice during five decades of counter-insurgency operations. The family Kenguruse had many reasons to wish Neibu hadn?t gone to the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. His grandfather Pfulhousa had fought the British-Indian army at Nerhema and was later forced to work as a coolie for the Indian army. Besides, they were Angamis, the epitome of the fiercely independent Naga spirit, to which legendary rebel leader A.Z. Phizo belonged.

?Neibu was aware of the churning back home while he was training hard to earn his stripes,? says 64-year-old Neiselie in Nagamese, a Hindi-Assamese hybrid of a lingua franca in Nagaland. Seventeen months before he was commissioned on December 12, 1998, the militant National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) declared a ceasefire. ?He hoped to return to a new Nagaland, but God had other wishes,? says the deeply religious Neiselie, a retired employee (fourth grade peon) of the state health department. ?When he did return ? as Captain Neikezhakuo Kenguruse in a coffin ? a new Nagaland did welcome him. Neibu did more than making us proud; he changed our perception of the Indian army.? That arguably triggered the mainstreaming of Naga society to an extent, inspiring a line of young people to enlist; and for others to begin the long journey for opportunities in the country beyond.

The day his body arrived at Dimapur, thousands lined the road to Nerhema, where it was interred with military honours. Nagaland hadn?t seen anything like this ? never for an Indian army soldier ? since Phizo died in 1989.

Neiselie recalls Neibu?s soldier of 2 Rajputana Rifles spoke in awe of their ?Nimbu Sahab?. When trying to climb a slippery rockface and secure a rope for his men in the bitter cold, his boots were slipping. So, he reverted to the ways of his head-hunting great-grandfather ? the dreaded Perheile ? kicked off his boots and clambered up barefoot to launch his final battle, killing the enemy before a volley of bullets threw him off the cliff to 200 feet below.

Neibu?s parents and siblings have no complaints. The government kept its promise: the family got a petrol station, albeit belatedly, and Neibu?s younger sister Asinuo, is a clerk with the Nagaland Police. The main gate to the 3rd Corps headquarters at Rangapahar (Dimapur) ? once the focus of Naga hatred ? has been named after Neibu.

2. Boxer in the ring, leader on the warfront

Capt. Keishing Clifford Nongrum, 25*
12 Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry, MAHA VIR CHAKRA

His moment: July 1, 1999, just short of post 4812. A strong leader, Nongrum charged and destroyed a bunker alone, fought hand-to-hand with Pakistani soldiers, and attacked another bunker before he was killed.
Hello, Kargil,? the attendants reply when the phone rings at the petrol station. But the station is far from Kargil ? if fact, it?s in the Bees Mile area, the 20th milestone from Guwahati on the Shillong road that has come to be known locally as Kargil Point. It?s in deference to Captain Nongrum in a corner of India where the very concept of India is still shaky.
Retired banker Keishing Peter, 62, has no complaints about waiting five years to get a promised service station after his son?s death. Ten years after an army officer stepped into his home to convey the deepest regrets of the President, Keishing says: ?Officers told us how he clambered uphill through the night of July 1, charged through enemy fire and lobbed a grenade killing six Pakistani soldiers in the nearest bunker and punched away some more ? he was a boxer too ? before snatching a machine gun in another.?

In the 22 months he served the J&K Light Infantry, he came home three times. ?He was always busy motivating students to join the army,? says his mother Saily. In the matrilineal Khasi society, children take the mother?s name. Clifford ? like elder brother Jeffrey and younger brother Paul ? chose to add that of his father, a Tangkhul Naga from Manipur, to his name. With the blood of two warrior communities flowing through him, it seemed easy enough for Clifford to head to the Officers Training Academy in September 1996. But it wasn?t an easy decision in a land under 25 Himas (tribal kingdoms) still not reconciled to being ?tricked into? signing the Instrument of Accession with the Indian Union 60 years ago.

A mound 50 metres from the Nongrum residence apparently helped Clifford make up his mind. He?d often spend hours on the mound peering down at Happy Valley a kilometre beyond, absorbed in the daily drills of the men in the Assam Rifles base.

He made friends with the sons of the officers to play football. The passion saw him form the Maitshaphrang ? literally, march forward ? Club with boys in the locality. ?Soccer honed Clifford?s leadership qualities, but we didn?t realise he was using the sport to be fighting fit to join the Short Service Commission after graduating in political science,? recalls Peter.

For many Khasis besides Clifford?s parents, Pt 4812 has become a pilgrimage. So has a second-floor room in the Nongrum residence filled with his memorabilia including a parachute brought from the Siachen Glacier during his last visit. But more importantly, Captain Nongrum?s sacrifice ? and the Maha Vir Chakra award given to him posthumously ? has egged many Khasis on to ?wear stars and service stripes?, as he had urged.

3. 15 bullets, a broken arm couldn?t stop him....


Havaldar Yogendra Singh Yadav, 25
18 Grenadiers, PARAM VIR CHAKRA

His moment: July 4, 1999, Tiger Hill. The only survivor of an attack that killed 6 of his comrades and riddled him with 15 bullets. Yadav?s solo counter-attack killed 7 enemy soldiers. Strapping up his broken arm, he rolled down the hill to warn others.

On a normal day, if a thorn pricks, it hurts, says Yadav. It was anything but normal on that cold, snowy mountaintop, when he saw six friends from his platoon die in close combat, felt the 15 bullets slam into his right leg and left arm and the searing pain of shrapnel gouge his face. ?I could recognise no pain then,? says Yadav softly, as he talks to the Hindustan Times, at his base in Samba, where they call his unit the PVC (Param Vir Chakra) paltan, or platoon. That?s because India?s highest gallantry awards, PVCs, are hard to come by. Only 21 have been awarded since Independence. The flash
of heroism Yadav displayed on Tiger Hill ? the most important vantage point overlooking India?s critical supply line, the Srinagar-Leh highway ? earned him one of four PVCs awarded for Kargil: only one other Kargil PVC survived.

Ten years ago, Yadav was a shy, newly married teenager from a backward village in Uttar Pradesh?s Bulandshahr district, who began climbing Tiger Hill with 24 other soldiers. For two nights and a day they climbed under fire. As they neared Pakistani positions, the firing intensified. Only seven soldiers made it to the top. Of them, only Yadav survived after the solo battle that made him famous. Yadav is also known in his village as the dead man who returned. In those pre-cellphone days his family got a message saying he was dead, thanks to an army mix-up. The only phone, at the village post office, had been dead for two years. It was a visiting reporter who brought news that Yadav was badly injured but alive and being celebrated by the world outside as a hero.

Today, Yadav is acutely aware of the battles won ? and the friends he lost. ?If those men were with us to celebrate 10 years of our victory, it would be something,? says Yadav. ?But it is nature?s law that you have to give something to get something.?

4. With apsaras in the sky, with army on earth

Capt. Vijyant Thapar, 22*
2 Rajputana Rifles, VIR CHAKRA

is moment: June 29. Vijyant brought the first victory to his unit by capturing Barbad Bunker on Tololing Top. Later, while attacking a bunker during an assault on Knoll, the fourth-generation officer laid down his life.

The display on the G-Shock in Robin?s cabinet is blank. It has been like that for a decade. Captain Vijyant Thapar, fondly called Robin, was wearing the rugged watch while leading an assault on Knoll, an enemy encampment, during one of the fiercest battles of the Kargil campaign. The watch has gathered some dust, but the memories haven?t. Holding Robin?s epaulette, his father Colonel V.N. Thapar, 66, says, ?We keep telling ourselves that our boy is still around. He is posted somewhere but can?t get leave.?

The 22-year-old?s commanding officer had asked him to fall back. Robin did not. There was no way he would let the enemy reoccupy vantage ground. Many lives were lost in securing it. He was shot in the head as he charged daringly at an enemy bunker on June 29, 1999. Knoll was won a few hours later. Robin was awarded the Vir Chakra for superhuman valour, posthumously.

Sometime before the final assault, he wrote his last letter to his parents. Colonel Thapar reads it out: ?By the time you get this letter I will be observing you all from the sky enjoying the hospitality of apsaras. If I become a human again I will join the army.?

Robin made two last wishes in that letter. He wanted his father to visit Knoll to ?see where the Indian Army fought for your tomorrow.? He also asked his parents to extend monetary assistance to a Kashmiri girl, Ruksana, whose father was shot dead by terrorists when she was seven. Robin had been supporting her when he was posted in the Lolab valley.

The Thapars don?t regret letting their older son join the army. What disappoints them the society?s amnesia. Colonel Thapar asks, ?Why is Kargil Diwas not observed? Have we forgotten our heroes??

Not that Robin cares. He is with the apsaras.

5. Lionheart !who gave a generation its motto

CAPT. Vikram Batra, 24*
13, Jammu & Kashmir Rifles, PARAM VIR CHAKRA

His moment: June 20, Point 5140. Under heavy fire, Batra reached the top and hurled two grenades at an enemy machine gun post and killed three soldiers in close combat. He carried on despite being seriously wounded, inspiring his men to recapture the peak.

The most enduring image of India?s first televised war was a young army captain laughing besides an anti-aircraft gun he?d just snatched from Pakistani soldiers. After the capture of Point 5140, when Barkha Dutt, now NDTV?s managing editor, applauded Vikram Batra, 24, for a mission well accomplished, he said: ?Ye dil maange more!? A nation got its war cry, a generation its motto. A decade after Batra gave young India its anthem, all his parents seek is some dignity, a little more than symbolic acknowledgment of their son?s sacrifice. Retired principal Girdhari Lal Batra, 64 and his schoolteacher wife Kamala are tired with the lip service provided by politicians and half-hearted, crude attempts to remember Vicky, the lion-heart.

Batra?s friend Amit remembers what he said about the war over a cup of coffee at the riverside Neugal Caf?. ?Ya toh tiranga lehrake aaunga, ya fir tirange mein lipta huwa aunga (I?ll either come back after raising the Indian flag in victory or return wrapped in it).

After he returned wrapped in that flag, Batra was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the nation?s highest gallantry honour, but his family hasn?t yet received the ex-gratia grant of Rs 3 lakh three lakh promised by the Jammu and Kashmir government. Even before he helped turn the tide in Kargil, Vicky, code-named Sher Shah by the Pakistanis, risked his life for his fellow soldiers. ?He helped evacuate a lieutenant who?d suffered grenade injuries,? says his mother. ?At times I feel sad that Lieutenant Naveen, whom he had helped, hasn?t bothered to even call us once.?

After the capture of Peak 5140, he called his parents. ?In the static and background noise all I could make out were the words ?I?ve captured?,? says Girdhari Lal with a smile. ?Panicked, I thought Vicky had been captured by enemies. Later I realised a man in custody can?t possibly call his parents.? How the local authorities have treated his memories is now cast in stone. ?Vicky?s bust, installed by the government is poorly sculpted,? says Kamala. ?It doesn?t have any resemblance to my son.?

Jai Hind -