Commemorations of 24th Vijay Diwas commence at Drass

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Defence Minister, Tri-Service Chiefs to lay wreath at war memorial tomorrow

Yogesh/Umaisar Gul Ganaie

 Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with Tri-Service Chiefs will lay wreath on July 26 at War Memorial in Drass to join the nation in celebrations of 24th anniversary of India’s splendors victory over Pakistan on inhuman peaks of Himalayas in Kargil, Ladakh.

As per the scheduled programme, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who has landed in Srinagar this evening, will arrive in Drass-Kargil, early in the morning via a special aircraft.

As per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the defence minister would be received by Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh Brig (Retd) BD Mishra, Tri-Service Chiefs including Chief of Armed Staff General Manoj Pandey, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R. Hari Kumar.

This occasion will also witness the presence of Capt Vikram Batra’s unit led by Lieutenant General, Y. K. Joshi (Retd), who was commanding officer of the unit and General (Retd) V P Malik, the then Army Chief.

“The Minister will visit to pay homage to the indomitable courage and sacrifice of the Indian Armed forces at the Kargil War Memorial on July 26 on the 24th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas,” the officials told KNO.

Officials said that Rajnath Singh will address the troops, interact with the Commanders, and pay tribute to the martyrs.

Earlier, the celebrations were begun at Lamochan View Point, Drass. A special event narrating the stories of Operation VIJAY was organized where an account of the epic battles on Tololing, Tiger Hill, Pt 4875 (Batra Top) and other prominent features was narrated with these very landmarks visible to the audience in front of their eyes.

The narration took everyone down the memory lane showcasing the daring feat achieved by the valiant soldiers of the Indian Army.

General V. P. Malik (Retd), Lieutenant General (Retd) Yogesh Kumar Joshi, Northern Command Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi and Kargil War Heroes Sub Major Sanjay Kumar, PVC among war heroes, veer naris, veer matas, and relatives of the gallant soldiers, who laid down their lives during the graced the occasion.

The event commenced with an audio-visual narration of the battles, which showcased the Kargil War as it unfolded.

The vivid narrations, against the backdrop of the mountains where the fierce battles were fought, recreated scenes of each battle, and the venue reverberated with tales of the bravery and sacrifice of the soldiers.

The narrations of battle, followed by reminiscences of actions by the war heroes themselves, brought to life the bravery, indomitable spirit, and everlasting zeal of the braves.

Later, Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pandey joined, and a cultural program by the Ladakh Culture Academy and an army band display were presented by the Indian Army at the horse polo ground in Drass, Ladakh.

Later in the evening, Shaurya Sandhya was organised in the evening at the Kargil War Memorial, Dras.

The event commenced with an emotional rendition of patriotic songs by Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre Fusion Band.

This was followed by solemn prayers for the bravehearts, which was conducted by Religious Teachers symbolising all major religions.

With a view to pay homage to the supreme sacrifice made by the Indian Soldiers during Op Vijay, 559 lamps, each symbolising a Braveheart, were lit at the Veer Bhoomi.

The solemn ceremony was attended by General Manoj Pande, Chief of Army Staff and a number of civilian and military dignitaries, Veer Naris, Veer Matas and War Heroes of Kargil. The memorable event was a tribute to great sacrifices made by our brave soldiers in service of the Nation.

The Kargil war took place from May to July in 1999, during which the Indian Army fought Pakistani troops in the heights of Kargil, forcing them to retreat. Since then, July 26 is observed annually as Kargil Vijay Diwas by the Indian Army.

During the two-month-long war, over 500 Indian Army and Air Force personnel sacrificed their lives, while the casualties on the Pakistani side were also significant.

Next year, India will celebrate the silver jubilee of Kargil Vijay Diwas

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