20-year wait for a date with brother
Himachal Pradesh

20-year wait for a date with brother


It will be a journey  Luv has waited for 20 years, to breach the spot where his identical twin Kush sacrificed his life, atop a 16,000-foot-high Himalayan massif along the Line of Control.

It will be exactly 20 years on Sunday when Kush, Capt Vikram Batra,  of Palampur in Himachal Pradesh, sacrificed his life during the Kargil war of May-July 1999.

Vishal Batra, known  as Luv to the family, will be there to mark his brother’s death anniversary. 'I am going to ‘meet’ my brother, up there,' Vishal said  hours before he boarded a flight en route to Drass at the base of the peak.

Vishal will be heli-dropped to reach Point 4875 (altitude of the peak in metres), now known as ‘Batra top’. 'I had the option of climbing the peak, but the Army advised acclimatisation of at least one week, which was not possible due to time constraints,' said Vishal,  a banker in Chandigarh.

At Point 4875, Capt Batra had led the assault by his ‘paltan’, 13 JAKRIF, to get it vacated from Pakistan army’s occupation. In September this year, Capt Batra, a Param Vir Chakra recipient, would have turned 45.

Gen VP Malik, in his book ‘Kargil: From Surprise to Victory’, describes Capt Batra, who after killing four Pakistani soldiers in a hand-to-hand combat fight and capture of Point 5140 called his Commanding Officer and radioed the victory code: Yeh Dil Mange More…

An  ad jingle of the 1990s, the code  Capt Batra had selected during the pre-assault briefing by the CO, Lt Col YK Joshi (now Lt General). Point 5140, the highest occupied point on Tololing ridge, was captured on June 20.

Lt Gen Joshi, awarded the Vir Chakra, will be on Batra top along with Vishal. A climbing expedition of 13 JAKRIF will reach the same day.