“I’ll either come back after raising the Indian flag in victory or return wrapped in it. But I’ll come back for sure” Captain Vikram Batra lived upto his words. He came back but rapped in the Tricolor. Shaheed Captain Batra had become a household name in India during the Kargil War. The young and jovial officer of the Indian Army, also code named as “Shershaah” during the Kargil War 1999 attained martyrdom while fighting for his motherland on July 7, 1999.
Captain Batra was born on September 9, 1974 in Himachal Pradesh’s Palampur to Girdhari Lal Batra, a government school principal, and Kamal Kanta Batra, a school teacher. Captain Batra joined the Indian Military Academy in 1996 and commissioned as a lieutenant into the 13th battalion of the Indian Army on December 6, 1997. In January 1999, Batra was sent to attend the Commando Course at Belgaum, Karnataka where he excelled.
On June 6, the 13 JAK RIF reached Dras on 6 June, was placed under the command of 56 Mountain Brigade, and was given orders to act as reserves to the 2nd battalion, Rajputana Rifles (2 RAJ RIF) during their attack on Tololing mountain. However, 2RAJ RIF captured Tololing on June 13, 1999. The 13 JAK Rif was asked to march towards Dras to Tololing where took over Tololing and a portion of the Hump Complex from 18 Grenadiers. ‘I Have No Regrets, In Fact Even If I Become a Human Again I’ll Join The Army’: Shaheed Captain Vijayant Thapar, Kargil War 1999 Hero’s Last Letter.
Capture of Point 5140:
Point 5140, about 1600 metres north of Tololing on the same ridgeline, is at an altitude of 16,962 feet above sea level and overlooks the Tololing nullah. It is the highest point on the Tololing ridgeline and the most formidable feature in the Dras sub-sector. The task of capturing Point 5140 was assigned to 13 JAK RIF under the command of now Lt. Col. Yogesh Kumar Joshi (Now Lt Gen ) on 17 June. The Commanding officer decided to attack Point 5140 with B Coy, under the command of Lt. Sanjeev Singh Jamwal, and D Coy, under the command of Vikram Batra, from two sides; east and south
During the assault, Captain Batra killed three enemy soldiers single-handedly in close combat.Eight enemy soldiers were Killed in the attack by D Coy. The young officer gave his success signal “Yeh Dil Mange More!” at 0345 hours. It was after the capture of Point 5140, Batra was promoted to the rank of captain. Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey 21st Martyrdom Day: Remembering Kargil War Hero And Param Vir Chakra Awardee on His Death Anniversary.
Attack om Point 4875 (Batra Top):
Upon reaching the Mushkoh Valley, 13 JAK RIF was placed under the command of 79 Mountain Brigade.The Battalion was assigned the task to capture the Point 4875. A and C Companiesof the Battalion captured the Point. But The Indian victory would not have been complete without the capture of Area Flat Top, an adjacent peak and part of enemy defences on Point 4875. The Indian Army had captured Area Flat Top on the afternoon of 5 July after a fierce battle with Pakistani forces. However, the enemy launched an immediate counterattack to take back the peak. “Young Capt. N.A. Nagappa was holding Flat Top. The enemy shelling hit Captain Nagappa, he fell unconscious. Captain Batra who was down with the fever, volunteered himself to go to the top to rescue Capt Nagappa. Time to know our ‘Real STARS’.
As Captain Batra and his 25 men were climbing towards the top,the Indian troops detected an enemy presence on a long and narrow ledge, running north from Point 4875. On the ledge, the enemy were holding strong sangars echeloned one behind the other. The enemy firing from the ledge stopped he movement of Capt Batra’s company. The Indian Army troops destroyed three machine guns.
However, the firing from the ledge continued. He then decided to take the enemy head-on in the broad day light. He silenced the enemy guns killing more than five intruders. While rescuing his injured soldier he was hit by enemy sniper and by a splinter from an RPG. Captain Batra succumbed to the injuries. The Point 4875 was renamed as “Batra Top” to honour the warrior.
For displaying bravery in the battlefield, Captain Batra was awarded Param Vir Chakra (Posthumously), India highest wartime bravery award.