20 years on, Naik Deepchand recalls Kargil war victory

20 years ago, the Indian army recaptured all the posts and positions in Kargil which were occupied by the Pakistan Army. Photograph:( DNA )

ANI Jammu and Kashmir, india Jul 26, 2019, 04.05 PM (IST)

Naik Deepchand, who lost both legs and his right arm in the 1999 Kargil war, paid tributes to the fallen soldiers at the Kargil War Memorial in Jammu and Kashmir's Dras on Friday.

Speaking to ANI on Kargil Vijay Diwas, he said the only aim of the forces at the time of the 1999 conflict was to defeat the enemy.

Recalling India's first major triumph, Deepchand of 1889 Missile regiment said, "We won the Battle of Tololing. It was very cold that day. As many as 10,000 rounds were fired by our battalion. I have come here to pay tributes to martyrs. It is a matter of great pride for all the countrymen.''

In a message to his countrymen, he said, "A soldier should always be respected as a soldier leaves everything for the country. When we wear the uniform it is like our soul and we are ready to sacrifice our life for the country's sake."

Brigadier Khushal Thakur, Commanding Officer (CO) 18 Grenadiers, who lost 34 of his jawans during the Tiger Hill battle, also paid tributes at the memorial.

"Today on 20 years of Kargil war, we are paying tribute to our martyrs. Families of martyrs and brave soldiers are also present here to pay tributes," he said.

"We remember this day and we pay tribute to martyrs. My father lost his life in Kargil war, he used to say that this place is very beautiful. We feel proud and a bit sad as some of those who were responsible for victory in the war are not with us any more," added Aprajita Acharya, daughter of Maha Veer Chakra awardee Major Padmapani Acharya.

The Indian armed forces had defeated Pakistan on July 26, 1999. Since then, the day is celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas.

In Dras, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Ex-Army Chief General VP Malik paid tributes to the brave hearts at the memorial.