SRINAGAR: The Army paid rich tributes to the soldiers who lost their lives in the 1999 Kargil War against Pakistan at the Drass war memorial in Ladakh on Monday. In 1999, the Indian armed forces defeated attempts by Pakistan to capture strategic heights in Kargil.
It was named 'Operation Vijay' (victory). The solemn ceremony to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas was held at the Kargil War Memorial, Drass, Srinagar-based PRO Defence Col Emron Musavi said.
Lt Governor of Ladakh RK Mathur was the chief guest on the occasion. He laid a wreath at the memorial and paid tributes to the slain soldiers as part of a ceremony symbolising 'shraddhanjali' (homage) from the entire nation.
President Ram Nath Kovind was scheduled to visit the Drass memorial to pay homage to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the war but the plan had to be change due to bad weather. Instead, he visited the Baramulla war memorial in north Kashmir and laid a wreath there.
In 2019 also, Kovind's flight could not take off from here due to bad weather and he laid a wreath at the war memorial in Badamibagh Cantonment, which also houses the headquarters of the Army's 15 Corps. PRO Defence Musavi said this year, the Kargil Vijay Diwas coincides with the 'Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame' reaching the Kargil War Memorial.
The journey of the 'Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame' across the country commemorates 50 years of India's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war.
The proceedings at the Kargil War Memorial commenced with the reception of the 'Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame' by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat in the presence of GOC-in-C Northern Command Lt Gen Y K Joshi, GOC 14 Corps Lt Gen PGK Menon, GOC 15 Corps Lt Gen DP Pandey and GOC 16 Corps Lt Gen M V Suchindra Kumar and other officers, gallantry awardees, 'Veer Naris', next of kin of the slain soldiers and civil dignitaries, Musavi said.
It was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony by civil and military dignitaries, he said. The gallantry awardees of the Kargil War, next of kin of the bravehearts, and 'Veer Naris' also paid tributes to the fallen heroes, he said.