25-07-2017 07:00 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Kargil Vijay Diwas: Celebrated in honour of Kargil War Heroes of our Nation.
The Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on July 26 every year to commemorate the success of Operation Vijay in the Kargil War, that helped India to regain command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders. It is celebrated in honour of the Kargil War Heroes who laid down their life for our country.
Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated in the Kargil - Dras sector and the national capital New Delhi, where the Prime Minister of India, pays homage to the soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate every year. Various functions are also organized in various parts of the country in recognition of the contribution of the armed forces towards the country.
The Kargil war fought between May and July 1999 in Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LOC). India had to fight the war to clear Kargil of Pakistani infiltrators and Kashmiri militants who had intruded into the Indian side of LOC.
During the severe winter of Kashmir, it is common practice for both the Indian and Pakistan Armies to abandon some forward posts on their respective sides of the LOC and to reduce patrolling of areas which may be avenues of infiltration. When winter becomes less harsh, the posts are re occupied and patrolling is resumed.
In February 1999, the Pakistan Army not only started to re occupy its posts but also sent its forces to occupy some posts on the Indian side. There were reports about the Pakistani forces being backed by Kashmiri guerrillas and Afghan mercenaries.
Initially, India failed to detect the incursions. The infiltrations were exposed when in the second week of May, an Indian patrol team led by Capt Saurabh Kalia ambushed the Batalik sector. At the beginning, it was thought that the infiltrators are jihadis. Widespread infiltration elsewhere along the LOC and the difference in tactics employed by the infiltrators made the Indian army realize that the country’s border is being attacked on a bigger scale and that the Pakistan Army is involved.
Soon Operation Vijay was launched by the government of India to counter the attack. Around 2,00,000 Indian troops were mobilized and fighting ensued. The total number of Indian soldiers that were involved in the military operation in the Kargil-Drass sector was close to 30,000. The number of infiltrators, including those providing logistical backup was approximately 5,000.
The difficulty of terrain was not a deterrent to the Indian soldiers who fought courageously and won numerous battles. Soon India regained control of the hills overlooking NH 1D and the Indian Army turned to driving the invading force back across the Line of Control.
Two months into the conflict, Indian troops had gradually regained control of most of the ridges that were encroached by the infiltrators nearly all the high ground was back under Indian control.
Many countries condemned Pakistan’s violation of the LOC. Pakistan was succumbing to international pressure. In the last week of July, Indian Army launched its final attacks and Kargil was free from the Pakistanis who had to withdraw their troops. Fighting ceased on 26th July and thenceforth, this day is celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas (Kargil Victory Day) every year by the Indians.
The Kargil War was fought at a time when electronic media was gaining momentum, therefore the war attained a wide media coverage. It helped to instill patriotic feelings among the citizens who till this day remember the sacrifices of the martyrs and celebrate this day as Kargil Vijay Diwas in their honour.
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