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Yeh Dil Mange More! Never forget the exemplary bravery of Captain Vikram Batra who attained martyrdom on this day in 1999

India is forever indebted to the soldier who showed immense personal bravery and rose up to the occasion when mother India needed her son the most.

Captain Vikram Batra was just 24 years old when he sacrificed his life for the nation. A Param Vir Chakra Awardee, he killed five Pakistani soldiers in hand-to-hand combat. His exemplary courage became an inspiration for many soldiers to come. Captain Vikram Batra, the Kargil War hero, sacrificed his life 21 years ago on this day. He was given the highest wartime gallantry award posthumously.

Kargil was not an easy win. Harsh weather, lack of roads and benefit of altitude enjoyed by the enemy made is extremely difficult for our side. India launched Operation Vijay to take back control of several peaks captured by Pakistani soldiers, ISI and terrorists. On 4th July 1999, India took control of the Tiger Hill and the whole nation applauded for the soldiers. Operation Vijay was successful.

The day when we captured Peak Point 4875

Captain Vikram Batra had one of the most challenging missions to deal with. He went to capture peak Point 4875. He was often called “Sher Shah” by the opposite side because of his valour. His slogan “Yeh Dil Maange More” is still remembered by those who were around during the Kargil War. The day his team captured Point 4875, he had a high fever, but he still volunteered to lead the team. The officer on the Pakistani side warned him, “On Sher Shah, you have come. Don’t come up, or you will have a tough time.”

Point 4875, Kargil War

On the intervening night of 6th and 7th July 1999, Pakistani troops had reached so close to Indian soldiers that over and above the firearms, the soldiers also indulged in verbal exchanges. At a long and narrow ridge running north from Point 4875, Indian soldiers detected enemy presence. Batra was recovering from wounds he had received during the battle of point 5140 few days prior. On their way to the top, Batra saw that Pakistanis were firing at trapped Indian soldiers. He slowly moved toward the machine gun and hurled a grenade, destroying the position of the machine gun.

He then moved the teammates to the next position. The Indian soldiers were at a height of 16,087 feet. It had started snowing and visibility was very low. Undeterred, by 7th July, the Indian soldiers had destroyed two more Pakistani machine guns. By the time the troops reached the ridge, the sun was high up and shining.

At 5:30 AM, Lt. Col. Joshi asked Batra to take stock of the situation. Along with Sub. Raghunath Singh and Maj. Bhat, Cap Batra did a recce. Spotting enemy, Batra realised the only way to attack is full frontal assault in broad daylight. Screaming the J&K Rifles War Cry, “Durga Mata Ki Jai”, Batra moved forward to the enemy. He killed five Pakistani soldiers in close combat. Seven Pakistani soldiers died that that point and Indian troops managed to gain some ground.

Taken by surprise, the Pakistanis began to retreat. We had gained an upper hand. However, we had not won yet. The enemy was just right around the corner. Spotting Pakistani soldiers manning a machine gun nest, Capt Batra charged towards them alone. One of the Indian soldiers accompanying him was injured. He turned toward Sub. Raghunath Singh and told him that the two of them will evacuate the injured soldier.

As Pakistanis continued to fire bullets, Capt Batra put himself between Singh and the enemy and pushed him towards the safe side. “You have a family and children to go back to, I’m not even married,” he told Singh and said that he will hold the injured soldier’s head while Singh can hold him by his feet as they take him to safety. In the process, he was shot in the chest by Pakistani soldier from a very close range. Split-second later, a splinter from an RPG hit him in the head. Batra collapsed next to the injured soldier and breathed his last.

A tribute to the War hero

Today, on the 21st death anniversary of Captain Batra, the Indian Army paid tribute to the Kargil War hero with a video. Born on the 9th day of the 9th month in 1974, Captain Batra sacrificed his life on the 7th day of the 7th month in 1999. His poetic war cry “Durge Mata ki Jai” will remain the source of energy for every soldier who joins the Army.

“I am Captain Vikram Batra and I will be back. 21 years down the line, yeh dil, fir maange more. So the countrymen, if you want me back, be a citizen worth fighting for…”

Vikram Batra was awarded Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest military honour on 15 August 1999. India is forever indebted to the soldier who showed immense personal bravery and rose up to the occasion when mother India needed her son the most.

 

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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