The Kargil War was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that raged from May to July 1999. On July 26th of that year, India drove out the last of the Pakistani intruders from its territory, Dubbed Operation Vijay, it saw the Army clear the Kargil sector and hoist the Indian flag in the area. Since then, this day has been observed as Kargil Diwas every year.
But the war took a hefty toll. 527 Indian soldiers were martyred and more than 1,300 were injured during the conflict. On Monday, as India marked Kargil Diwas 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to the soldiers who laid down their lives for India.
"We remember their sacrifices. We remember their valour. Today, on Kargil Vijay Diwas we pay homage to all those who lost their lives in Kargil protecting our nation. Their bravery motivates us every single day," he tweeted sharing an excerpt from an earlier 'Mann Ki Baat.' episode.
President Ram Nath Kovind and Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat were initially slated to participate in the celebrations in Dras, Kargil on Monday. However, inclement weather had prompted a change of plans with reports quoting Indian Army officials to say that the President would be laying a wreath at Baramula War Memorial.
"On Kargil Vijay Diwas, I join the nation in remembering our armed forces' saga of valour and gallantry. I salute the heroes of the Kargil War and Operation Vijay and pay my respectful homage to the martyrs for their supreme sacrifice," tweeted Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.
Visuals shared by news agency ANI showed Army Chief General MM Naravane, Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, and CISC Vice Admiral Atul Jain paying tribute at the National War Memorial in Delhi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt were also present.
"On Kargil Vijay Diwas 2021, I pay respects to the valour and sacrifice made by the armed forces in Kargil. Our armed forces have always risen to every challenge and held high our sovereign rights," tweeted Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
"Today, on Kargil Vijay Diwas we pay homage to all those heroes of our great nation who lost their lives in Kargil protecting our nation," tweeted Union Minister Kiren Rijiju.
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