Kargil Vijay Diwas 20th Anniversary Celebrations: 13 JAK RIF Organises Motorcycle Expedition From Uttarakhand’s Mana Village to Kargil

To commemorate “Kargil Vijay Diwas” the Indian Victory in Kargil War 1999, 13th Battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles (JAK RIF) who actively participated in the said operations, organised a Motorcycle Expedition from Mana “The Last Village” in Uttarakhand to Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir. The expedition was flagged off on 06th July 2019 from Mana, Uttarakhand and will culminate at Kargil on July 26, 2019 on the eve of “Kargil Vijay Diwas”.

The Expedition reached Indian Military Academy, Dehradun on July 9, 2019. The 22 member expedition team led by Maj Ritwick Singh of 13th JAK RIF visited the premier institute and interacted with Gentlemen Cadets undergoing training. This expedition will surely motivate future leaders of Indian Army, showcasing ethos of the Armed Forces and inspiring younger generation on sacrifices made by their predecessors like CaptainVikram Batra, PVC (P) who underwent training from Indian Military Academy (IMA).

Maj Gen GS Rawat, AVSM, YSM, SM metting the Riders
Maj Gen GS Rawat, AVSM, YSM, SM metting the Riders (Picture Courtesy: IMA, Dehradun)

After a fruitful interaction with Gentlemen Cadets, the team was felicitated by Maj Gen GS Rawat, AVSM, YSM, SM, Deputy Commandant and Chief Instructor, Indian Military Academy. He appreciated the team for their efforts and the cause for which they have undertaken this expedition.

Earlier on July 7, Vishal Batra, twin brother of Shaheed Captain Vikram Batra paid tribute to the hero of the Kargil War on his 20th Death anniversary at 16,000-foot-high Batra Top. Commander of 14 Corps of the Indian Army Lt Gen Yogesh Joshi and soldiers of 13 JAK RIF and 18 Grenadiers accompanies Vishal to the top of the peak. Lt Gen Joshi was commanding officer of the 13 JAK RIF at the time of the war.

1971 India-Pakistan War: Meet Param Vir Chakras of The War Which Led to Formation of Bangladesh

On December 16, 1971, the Indian Army defeated the Pakistani Army. Around 93,000 Pakistani Army soldiers surrendered before our army. The war which went on for two weeks from December 3, 1971 to the fall of Dacca. Pakistan Army commander Lt. Gen. Niazi signed the documents of surrender before Lt. Gen. JS Aurora in Dacca on this day leading to the formation of Bangladesh. As per government data 1769 army personnel sacrificed their lives in the war. Meanwhile, 11 Air Force and 204 Navy personnel achieved martyrdom in the war.

Four Param Vir Chakras were given during this war:

2nd Lt Arun Khetarpal

2nd Lt Arun Khetarpal:  21-yr old officer hailed from Pune. 2nd Lt. Joined 17 Poona horse regiment. He made supreme sacrifice in the Battle of Basantar on the eastern front. In spite being hit Khetarpal refused to vacate his tank. His last words to his commander on the radio sets were, “No Sir, I will not abandon my tank. My Main gun is still working and I will get these bastards.” Hi was awarded Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his gallantry.

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Major Hoshiar Singh

Major Hoshiar Singh: Major Hoshiar Singh belonged to 3 granediers. His battalion was given task to establish brigade head across the river Basantar in Shankargarh district between December 15 and December 17. River was well fortified by Pakistani army with mines on both sides. He was commanding the ‘C’ company. He was ordered to capture Pakistani post in Jarpal. Pakistani’s launched counter attack. He went from trench to trench motivating his men in spite of seriously injured. His courage and leadership repulsed the counter attack inflicting heavy causalities on Pakistani Army. For his bravery he was awarded Param Vir Chakra. He retired as Brigadier from the army.

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Lance Naik Albert Ekka

Lance Naik Albert Ekka: He achieved martyrdom on 3rd December in the Battle of Hilli on the eastern front. For his bravery during the battle he was posthumously awarded Param Vir Chakra.

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Flying Officer NirmalJeet Singh Sekhon

Flying Officer NirmalJeet Singh Sekhon: During the Indo-Pak war of 1971 he was serving No. 18 Squadron, ‘The Flying Bullets’ of The Indian Air Force’. Flying Officer Sekhon was flying Folland Gnat fighter stationed at Srinagar. He was awarded Param Vir Chakra posthumously for single-handedly defending Srinagar Air base against Pakistan Air Force air raid.