Indian Army celebrates Kargil war Victory Day

July 26th, 2011 - 7:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, July 26 (IANS) Indian Army troops across Jammu and Kashmir, operating under the Northern Command, Tuesday paid homage to the 527 soldiers who laid down their lives during the 74-day Kargil war in 1999 that saw the eviction of Pakistani troops from the Indian territory they had occupied in the cold desert region of Ladakh.

The 26th of July is celebrated as “Vijay Divas” or Victory Day by the Indian Army, as it was on this day 12 that the last of the Pakistani intruders was pushed back across the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

The Northern Command chief, Lt. Gen. K.T. Parnaik, led the officers and soldiers in paying homage at the main function at the Command headquarters at Udhampur, 66 km from here. He laid a wreath at the war memorial and was joined by officers and soldiers in doing so.

Similar tributes were paid across the state, at the headquarters of the 14 Corps in Leh, the 15 Corps at Srinagar and the 16 Corps at Nagrota, near Jammu and other Indian Army units in the state, according to a defence ministry spokesperson.

Pakistani troops had entered into Indian territory during the winter of 1998-1999, breaking an unwritten agreement that the two armies would vacate their positions during winter because of the severity of the cold, with the temperature dipping to minus 40 degree Celsius at heights ranging from 12,000 to 14,000 feet. The Indian Army detected the presence of the intruders in May 1999 and thereafter, a military operation
codenamed “Operation Vijay” or Operation Victory was launched.

“It was on this day when the Indian Army with its indefatigable courage, indomitable spirit and irrepressible valour inflicted defeat on Pakistan. The nation celebrates July 26 as Kargil Vijay Divas to pay glowing tributes to its 527 martyrs and brave soldiers who made Pakistan bite dust on the battlefield.

“The memory of the war and sacrifices of the Indian soldiers, combined with daring raids on enemy positions to flush out the infiltrators from our sacred motherland is still fresh in the minds of the people and continues to inspire the coming generations,” the spokesman said.

“The Indian Army, along with Indian Air Force, showing exemplary courage and bravery, turned the tables on Pakistan and won the war in Kargil after 74 days of continuous fighting, against all odds at very high altitudes,” the spokesman added.

“Those who fell for the cause of the country shall always be honoured because they gave their todays for our tomorrows. The nation will always remember hundreds of martyrs for their unparalleled feats of conspicuous personal gallantry, exemplary leadership and selfless devotion to duty in the service of the motherland,” the spokesman said.

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