On Monday morning, at point 4875, a 16,000-ft high Himalayan massif near Drass along the Line of Control with Pakistan, ‘Jo’— or Lt Gen YK Joshi—led his ‘men’ to render a war cry of his ‘paltan’, the 13 JAKRIF to mark 20 years of victory achieved during the Kargil War in May-July 1999.
At some aerial distance away a team of 18 Grenadiers climbed ‘Tiger Hill’ to commemorate the victory. Troops of 2 Rajputana Rifles did their expedition on Sunday to Tololing, another important feature captured during the War. Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh received the team at the top. Another one is planned at Khalubar in the Batalik sector located east of Kargil where a troop of the Gorkha Rifles will summit on Tuesday. The expeditions are to pay homage and re-live the glory moments.
The 13 JAKRIF was awarded the Battle Honour 'Mushkoh & Drass' and Theatre Honour 'Kargil' and their gallantry awards include two Param Vir Chakras and three Vir Chakras. 'The objective of the trek was to celebrate the triumph of the Battalion over the enemy,' said Col Rajesh Kalia, Srinagar-based Army spokesperson.
The battle of Tiger Hill won 20 year ago was commemorated by 18 Grenadiers who had evicted a well-entrenched enemy. The assault had been led by Lieutenant Balwan Singh Panghal, now a Colonel. He was awarded Maha Vir Chakra (MVC). During the expedition, the team spread the message of 'Remember the Fallen'.
Tomorrow another expedition will mark the capture of the Khalubar ridge and the battle of Chorbat La – both critical. For the capture of Khalubar, among other stories of bravery, was Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey of the Gorkhas, who was honour. Chorbat La was important as the Valley, on the Indian side, opens some 25 km south of Batalik on the road to Leh.