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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Remembering our Heroes on Kargil Diwas ~ the Vir Chakra winner Capt. Vijayant Thapar




We have seen Cine heroes donning role of  Army Jawans and applaud them too – you may not instantly identify this good looking man – he is the real hero !  In our history books, we have read about 3 battles of Panipat, Plassey, Arcot and more …..will we ever read of Tololing or even Kargil ! ~ on every 26th of July, I circulate something on Kargil – this year it is done a day in advance !

The Battle of Tololing was one of the pivotal battles in the Kargil War between India's armed forces and troops from the Northern Light Infantry aided by other Pakistan backed irregulars in 1999. The Tololing is a dominant position overlooking the Srinagar - Leh Highway (NH 1D) and was a vital link. The Indian army's casualties on the Tololing peak were half of the entire losses in the whole war. Much of the losses had to do with the nature of the terrain as World War I style frontal charges had to be mounted to reclaim the peaks to dislodge the intruders. The 3 week assault finally culminated with India taking control of the peak and changing the course of the war. 23 Indian Soldiers were killed in the final assault, resulting in one of the costliest battles of the entire war.

We have National Holidays;  We celebrate important days for the Nation including The Independence Day (Aug 15th ) Republic Day (26th  Jan) – we recall the birth and death days of important National leaders.    A day  more important than most of them is … 26th  July…. The Kargil Diwas..  in very many countries, Victory day is a much celebrated day commemorating the victory in an important  battle for the honour of the Nation.

On that sad day, a sea of humanity poured out on the streets of Noida bidding farewell to Lt Vijayant Thapar, "hero of operation Vijay", who laid down his life, along with two other officers and 17 jawans, in the Dras sub- sector of Kargil on the night of June 28-29- 1999. Tens Of thousands of people - a majority of them unknown to the bereaved family –  the young hero  Vijyant after getting commissioned on   Dec'98 joined the 2 Rajputana Rifles at Gwalior. The battalion stayed barely for a month before they move to Kashmir to check counter insurgency.  He died young for the Nation, for providing a comfortable life for You and Me.

Great People – Country must remember the Names -  :  Captain Anuj Nayyar, Captain Amol Kalia, Captain Manoj Pande, Captain P.V.Vikram, Captain Vikram Batra, Deputy Commander Sukhbir Singh Yadav, Driver-Soldier Gopinath Moharana,  Flight Engineer Raj Kishore Sahoo, Grenadiar Amardeep, Grenadiar Bajinder Singh Naik Surjeet Singh, Naik Subedar Lal Chand, Naik Vikram Singh, Naik Yoginder Singh, Rifleman Ansuya Prasad Dhayani, Rifleman Bachan Singh, Subedar Sumer Singh Rathore, Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja, Squadron Leader Rajiv Pundir, Squadron Leader Lal Singh, Squadron Leader Ojha, Zrfn Man Singh,  Kaushal Yadav – all should feature  in the history books of the school curriculum.   The illustrious list is not full only some of those 527 heroes who sacrificed their future for protecting the honour of the Nation….. yes these are only some of the names of Indian jawans and officers who made the supreme sacrifice in the battle field of Kargil.

The Indian Army observes July 26 as Vijay Diwas every year to commemorate the sacrifices of its soldiers and also celebrate its victory in the 60-day-long Kargil War in 1999. Kargil Vijay Diwas, is  the day   of successful completion of Operation Vijay. On this day, 26 July 1999, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders. The Kargil war was fought for more than 60 days, ended on 26 July.  This did result in the loss of lives but not the honour of the Nation.

The town of Kargil is located 205 km from Srinagar, and faces Pakistan's so-called Northern Areas across the Line of Control. From April 1999, the Pakistan Army along with elements of Mujahadeen (irregulars) crossed the 168km Line of Control (LoC), along Kargil and occupied high ground and vantage points. The intrusion was announced by the Indian Army by May 7-8 and had come as a complete surprise to the military as well as intelligence agencies.  Though IAF was inducted, it was emphasised that the IAF must not cross the LoC.  The tide turned from the middle of June 1999. At this time, the areas of occupation became known. The Army was now in a position to make an attack plan versus the target systems. As a consequence, the Air Force was able to coordinate with the Army the "close Air support" requirements.

In the final analysis, Kargil was a military, diplomatic and political success for India. However, the loss of nearly 500 military men and over 1,100 serious casualties, subdues the success. During this Kargil Diwas, we must remember those  great uniformed personnel who gave their today for our tomorrow.

On 28 June 1999 Captain Vijyant Thapar was commanding the leading platoon of Alfa Company, which was tasked to assault area Knoll in Drass Sector from the north during Operation Vijay While advancing, the platoon was hit by accurate enemy artillery barrage and it suffered heavy casualties. Captain Thapar organized evacuation of the casualties and quickly rallied his shell-shocked platoon for the attack. Personally leading the attack from the Northern face against enemy's Medium Machine Gun fire, which was holding up the Company's assault, he fearlessly charged at the enemy position firing from the hip and throwing grenades. During this act, he was grievously injured in the hand and stomach but continued to advance ordering his men to follow him. Roused by the actions of their young Platoon Commander barely out of the Academy, the platoon charged up the hill against the dominating enemy position. This audacious action unnerved and forced the enemy to abandon a tactically superior position. The officer, however, succumbed to his injuries.

Captain Vijyant Thapar, [the real hero] displayed remarkable cool, raw courage and exemplary valour and made the supreme sacrifice while facing the enemy. He was posthumously awarded Vir Chakra.  Smt. Sumitra Devi, grandmother of Late. Capt. Vijyant Thapar received the Vir Chakra on behalf of her grandson, at the Defence Investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Every time we see an Army Jawan, it is our duty to salute them.

Today, is the time, we remember the martyrs of Kargil. Jai Jawan, Jai Hind………
Saluting the Warriors saving our Nation….

With Great respect to Soldiers – S. Sampathkumar.

25th July 2015.

Photos and inputs taken from : http://www.captainvijyantthapar.com

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