President of India Ram Nath Kovind, the Commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces, lead the country on Friday in celebrating the valour of the fallen soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty on the peaks of Kargil in 1999. Every year, July 26 is observed as Kargil Vijay Diwas to commemorate the success of Operation Vijay and the victory of the Indian Army against infiltrating Pakistani troops, while defending the country’s integrity.
In a show of solidarity with the martyrs of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his tributes on Twitter with images of his Kargil visit during the war in 1999. ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ is celebrated with heavy enthusiasm and vigour by military personnel at Dras-Kargil sector and the national capital New Delhi at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate.
Apart from celebrations, in another warning to the country’s neighbours, Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Thursday said Pakistan would have to “take back bodies” if it dares to infiltrate again. Alerting Pakistan to not “attempt any misadventure”, Rawat said, “Infiltration has come down because of our troops sitting alert at the border. Pakistan knows that if it’ll infiltrate, all they will have to do is come back and take mortal remains.”
Here are the top 10 developments:
— On instances where a former army personnel’s name has been struck off from the National Register of Citizens in Assam, Rawat said, “We will support any army personal who has an issue with the NRC. If a person has served the Indian Forces then he will surely be taken care of. We will help him with all the required documents.”
— The Army chief added, “Our soldiers have very little demands. We have to keep their morale high. A soldier fighting a proxy war needs tools for surveillance that helps him identify the enemy he needs his gun and armour. we are also looking at what else we need to fight this proxy war. We are in the process of modernising our forces but we cannot do it overnight.”
— “These are desperate attempts to reignite a dying flame. They are doing every thing to keep the Kashmir issue alive. It has been proved that they are providing financial support to terrorists. Radicalisation on social media is being done to keep the Kashmir issue alive as they have sensed that Kashmir will not remain an international issue for long,” said Rawat.
— Regarding the Donald Trump’s claim that PM Modi had urged US mediation on Kashmir issue, Rawat said, “There is a difference between talk and action. We all know what is happening in Pakistan. You know who controls the country. Pakistan will do anything to get money and once they get it they will do what they have been doing all this while.”
— Soldiers will continue to man and protect the borders, said General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Indian Army. He said, “We were compelled to take up the Kargil war in order to throw out the Pakistani infiltrators who had entered drass area. The then PM Vajapyee had told the forces that he wants the infiltrators to be thrown out and even before the forces moved out he was confident that we will win. Our countrymen can be rest assured that our soldiers will continue to man and protect the borders so that you can rest peacefully at you homes, all we need is your support.”
— On the 20th anniversary of the success of India’s Operation Vijay, Army chief General Bipin Rawat pays tribute at Kargil War Memorial in Dras.
— Fly past by the fighter aircraft that took part in the Kargil war, has also been called off due to bad weather at Drass.
— Due to inclement weather, President Ram Nath Kovind’s helicopter has been diverted to Srinagar and the celebrations will now take place at Badami Bagh, instead of Drass in Kargil.
— Defence Minister Rajnath Singh arrives at the National War Memorial, Delhi for the wreathe-laying ceremony in memory of the slain soldiers.
— GL Batra, the father of Captain Vikram Batra who lost his life in Kargil War and was posthumously awarded Param Vir Chakra, said, “The government is taking strong actions against Pakistan as it continues to support infiltration and terrorism. I had requested the government in Delhi to rename roads in Delhi after Param Vir Chakra awardees, yet to receive a response on it.”
— A park, dedicated to the Indian soldiers, has been constructed in Karnataka’s Shivamogga that will be inaugurated on Friday on the occasion of Kargil Diwas.
— Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “On the 20th anniversary of the Kargil victory day, I bow to the bravery and sacrifice of the Indian Army. The whole country offers tribute to all martyrs who braved adversaries and defended the honour of India. Their indomitable courage and sacrifice are inspirational.”
— As per the scheduled programme, President Kovind will arrive in Kargil-Drass early in the morning. The president will be received by Governor Satya Pal Malik along with the three service chiefs — Chief of Armed staff, General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh.
— Kovind tweets, “On Kargil Vijay Diwas, a grateful nation acknowledges the gallantry of our Armed Forces on the heights of Kargil in 1999. We salute the grit and valour of those who defended India, and record our everlasting debt to those who never returned.”
— Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu tweeted, “On Kargil Vijay Diwas, I pay my respects to the brave soldiers of Indian Army who made ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty to protect our nation. I salute all the heroes of the Kargil war and Operation Vijay who secured a valiant victory on July 26, 1999 (SIC).”
— The Indian Air Force paid homage to the Kargil martyrs and saluted the “courage, valour and sacrifice” of India’s bravehearts. “Let’s remember the supreme sacrifice made by brave soldiers of India, to uphold & safeguard the integrity of the nation,” the IAF said.
— Union Home Minister Home Minister paid homage to the brave hearts of India who lost their lives fighting for the sovereignty of the country. Shah called the Kargil Vijay Divas a “symbol of courage and bravery of the Indian Army.”
— Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh took to Twitter to salute the brave soldiers of the “whose courage and valour was immortalised during the Kargil war.” “Their heroic acts will remain etched as defining moments in the nation’s history,” he said.
— To commemorate the victory, a ‘Victory Flame’ was lit by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on July 14 at the National War Memorial in Delhi. The flame will traverse through nine towns and cities before reaching Drass on July 26. It will be received by COAS and then be merged with the eternal flame at the Kargil War Memorial.
— On Kargil Diwas, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said, “Air Force has changed a lot in 20 years. The biggest change that I think has taken place is our ability of reconnaissance and surveillance, we could not pick up the intrusion before Kargil operation, that has been a big change.”
— ‘Mission Taste of Kargil’ will serve dinner to 500 people, including the kith and kin of martyrs, veterans, serving troops, ‘veer naaris’ (widows of martyrs), gallantry awardees among others, ahead of the Kargil Vijay Divas on Friday.
— The India Army paid rich tributes to the brave soldier and Kargil Martyr Joginder Singh of 14 Sikh Regiment, who laid his life on July 25, 1999 in the Kargil War.
— Meanwhile, Maharashtra will commemorate the ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ by organising special shows of Bollywood film Uri: The Surgical Strike at more than 500 screens across the state with an objective to “propagate nationalism”.