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Kargil Vijay Diwas 2023: Date, Significance and History

Kargil Vijay Diwas 2023 is celebrated annually across the country on July 26th to pay tribute to the bravery and valor of the Indian soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country during the Kargil War in 1999. The day commemorates the victory of Operation Vijay, which was a significant military victory over Pakistan during the Kargil War in 1999.

In 2023, India is celebrating its 24th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas. The day is also known as Kargil War or Kargil Conflict. On this day in 1999, Indian soldiers fought against the Pakistani intruders who had crossed the Line of Control (LOC) into Indian territory. The Kargil War was fought between India and Pakistan at the Line of Control (LoC) in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir where the Indian Army recaptured the famous ‘Tiger Hill’ and other important posts around under ‘Operation Vijay’ by evicting the Pakistani troops.

How is Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrated?

Kargil Vijay Diwas 2023
Kargil Vijay Diwas 2023

Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated all across the country. The Prime Minister of India is known to pay tribute to the martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate every year. There is a Kargil War memorial as well in Dras on the foothills of Tololing Hill. It was built by the Indian Army and honours the soldiers who lost their lives during the war. Interestingly, the gateway of the memorial has a poem named ‘Pushp Kii Abhilasha’ inscribed on it and the names of the martyrs are also inscribed on the Memorial Wall there.

History of Kargil War

  • As history has it, India was successful in evicting the Pakistani troops from its territory as the war ended on July 26. This momentous day came to be known as Kargil Vijay Diwas. It should be noted that 527 soldiers sacrificed their lives for the country during the war.
  • The Kargil War was fought between May-July of 1999 in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir along the Line of Control (LoC) in which India got victory.
  • The Kargil war was fought for more than 60 days and ended on 26 July.
  • On this date in 1999 Pakistan army took advantage of the melting snow and betraying the bilateral understanding of both the nations (that the post would remain unattended during the winter season) took command of the high outposts of India.
  • Pakistan army refused the claims that its soldiers were involved in the war and claimed that they were the rebels from Kashmir itself, but the ammunition, identity cards, rations stores and other evidence prove that the Pakistan army was behind this cowardly act.

Result of the Kargil War

Initially, Pakistan captured several strategic points. But in the second phase of the war, India successfully occupied strategic transportation routes and identified the points of invasion with the help of local shepherds. In the final phase, the Indian army concluded the war in the last week of July with the help of the Indian Air Force. On 26 July 1999, the Indian Army declared its victory over Pakistani intruders. But the cost of the victory was high.

How Many Died In Kargil War?

The official death count on the Indian side was 527, whereas, on the Pakistani side, the death count was nearly between 357 and 453. India lost one of the brave soldiers, Captain Vikram Batra, during the Kargil war. Kargil Vijay Diwas honors Kargil’s superheroes. He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest gallantry honor after his death. Recently, a movie named Shershaah was also released based on the life of Vikram Batra.

Complete Timeline of Kargil War

  • May 3, 1999: Local shepherd alerts the Indian Army about the presence of Pakistani troops and militants in Kargil.
  • May 5, 1999: Pakistani forces kill five Indian soldiers, escalating tensions in the region.
  • May 10, 1999: Indian Army initiates ‘Operation Vijay’ after Pakistani troops target Indian ammunition deposits in Kargil.
  • May 26, 1999: Indian Air Force launches an airstrike to counter the Pakistani offensive.
  • May 27, 1999: A MiG-27 aircraft is shot down, and the Pakistani forces capture the pilot as a prisoner of war.
  • May 31, 1999: Atal Bihari Vajpayee declares a war-like situation in Kargil.
  • June 1, 1999: The international community, including the USA and France, holds Pakistan responsible for its military actions against India.
  • June 5, 1999: Indian Army presents evidence of Pakistan’s involvement in the conflict.
  • June 9, 1999: Indian Army successfully recaptures two strategic positions in the Batalik Sector.
  • June 10, 1999: Pakistan returns the mutilated bodies of six soldiers from the Jat regiment.
  • June 13, 1999: India regains control of the crucial Tololing peak, altering the course of the war.
  • June 15, 1999: US President Bill Clinton urges Pakistan’s PM, Nawaz Sharif, to withdraw Pakistani troops.
  • June 20, 1999: Indian Army captures Point 5060 and Point 5100 near Tiger Hill after an intense 11-hour battle.
  • July 5, 1999: Bill Clinton meets Nawaz Sharif, and the Pakistani PM announces a pull-out of troops from Kargil.
  • July 11, 1999: Pakistani troops begin to retreat, and the Indian Army seizes control of multiple peaks in Batalik.
  • July 14, 1999: Indian Army declares the successful completion of ‘Operation Vijay.’
  • July 26, 1999: Kargil War concludes, and this day is commemorated as ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas.’

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