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KARGIL12 YRS AFTER
Tributes paid to Kargil martyrs
Tribune News Service
Drass, July 26
Tributes were paid to martyrs at the Forever in Operations War Memorial on the 12th Kargil Vijay Diwas, signifying the victory of Indian forces in evicting Pakistani intruders who had occupied large tracts on this side of the Line of Control in the Kargil sector.
It was on this day in 1999 that the last of the Pakistani intruders, who included army regulars as well as militants, were flushed out from fortified positions in inhospitable terrain at heights up to 18,000 feet. As many as 543 Indian troops, including many young officers, were killed in the two-month long war.
General Officer Commanding of the Leh-based 14 Corps, Lt Gen Ravi Dastane, GOC 8 Mountain Division, Maj Gen R.J. Noronha, GOC 3 Mountain Division, Maj Gen K.M. Balsara, brigade commanders, commanding officers of various battalions deployed in this sector as well as a large number of officers, jawans and their family members attended the ceremony. Also present were next of kin of some of the martyrs, ex-servicemen from this region and civilian dignitaries.
Later addressing a special sainik sammelam, Lt Gen Dastane called upon all ranks to draw inspiration from the unity, steely resolve and spirit of sacrifice displayed by the armed forces and continues to strive for professional excellence. He said the Kargil conflict was a testimony to the indomitable spirit and fighting skills of the Indian soldier.
War widows and next of kin of martyrs were also honoured on the occasion. A barakhana for all troops, a massed band display, polo match between Ladakh Scouts and Dras Bravo, a local civilian team, cultural programme for the locals, a candle lighting ceremony and an audio-visual presentation were other events organised to mark the event.
A cycle expedition organised to commemorate the golden jubilee of 70 Infantry brigade, deployed in Batalik, was also flagged-in at the war memorial. The expedition had started from Nyoma in eastern Ladakh on July 5.
Even I can’t utter their sacred names of all these Great Martyrs at a stretch, but in a moment I feel they are Gods of the real patriots of Bharat.