Nation pays rich tributes to Kargil war heroes on Vijay Divas
By N C Bipindra | Published: 27th July 2013 09:41 AM |
India’s victory in the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan during the BJP-led NDA rule under Atal Bihari Vajpayee was officially celebrated by the Congress-led UPA Government for the second year in a row, with Defence Minister A K Antony leading the nation in paying homage to martyrs.
Antony, along with Army Chief General Bikram Singh, Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi and Air Force Vice Chief Air Marshal Arup Raha (as Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne is on an official tour to the US) laid wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate as a mark of respect to 527 martyrs in the two-month war on the icy heights in Jammu and Kashmir bordering the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
This year was the 14th anniversary of the ‘Operation Vijay Divas’ and it was observed with fervour at all major military stations across the country, in particular at Kargil/Dras.
The proceedings at Dras began with a wreath-laying ceremony, led by Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Sanjeev Chachra, at the War Memorial. The gallantry winners from the Kargil conflict and martyrs’ relatives, including parents of late Capt Vijayant Thapar, were present. Gen (retired) V P Malik, the Army chief during the Kargil war, led a memorial service for the martyrs. A ‘First Day Cover’ commemorating the event was also released.
Describing the situation along the LAC in Ladakh as “well under control”, Chachra said: “To counter the ongoing proxy war, we are committed to launch intelligence specific and people friendly operations as also concerted counter-infiltration operations along the Line of Control.”
Ruling out a repeat of the 1999-type intrusion on the LAC, the Army commander said: “We have significantly strengthened our positions in Western Ladakh since 1999 and also enhanced our surveillance and response capabilities... We are well prepared not only to deny our adversary any opportunity, but also to respond swiftly.”