New Delhi, July 25 : The sixteenth anniversary of the Indian victory in the 1999 Kargil war is being celebrated across the country today.
Functions are being held in all army cantonments and by citizen groups across the country. The primary function, however, is being held in Dras under the aegis of 8 Division that bore the maximum brunt of the war.
The function in Dras is being attended by a large number of dignitaries of the Army and civil administration as well as gallantry award winners of the conflict and families of many martyrs.
Army chief General Dalbir Singh also paid tributes to the martyrs of the war at the war memorial in Dras earlier today.
July 26, 1999, was a fateful day when the Indian Army put paid to yet another audacious misadventure by Pakistan in the unforgiving heights of the Kargil and the Batalik sectors.
The Kargil war, that witnessed fighting in heights up to 18,000 feet with extremely low temperatures, culminated with the complete routing of the enemy and physical re-possession of the ground that had been occupied by stealth and deceit.
The war also revisited the traditional bravery, fortitude and sense of duty that epitomises the Indian soldier who fights courageously, fearlessly and without complaints under almost impossible conditions.
The soldier, once again, left no doubts about his capability and commitment to defend the nation despite all odds.
Victory was achieved with the sacrifice of 537 brave sons of India; no less than 86 gallantry awards were won during the course of the war.
The success of the war is commemorated as the “Kargil Vijay Diwas.”
Celebrations have been on in Dras since the last few days. Marathons, painting, archery, tent pegging competitions and cultural shows have been held.
They culminated with a ‘military tattoo’ show and prize distribution ceremony.
The celebrations at the Kargil War Memorial that started today and will carry on till July 26, which marks the victory day.
Army bands will present a breathtaking band display, followed by a solemn memorial service.
On July 26, senior officers of the Army, martyrs’ families, war heroes, political representatives and the civil administration shall participate in the commemorative wreath laying ceremony at the Kargil War Memorial.
The War memorial is located at the base of the Tololing feature, the scene of one of the fiercest battles of the operation.
There is a deep feeling of pride and nostalgia amongst common citizens on this day.
All Indian nationalists remember their heroes who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation and the safety of their countrymen. (ANI)