- Kargil Vijay Diwas- Rajnath Singh Urges To All CMs To Forget Politics, Celebrate 20 Years Of Kargil Victory
Kargil Vijay Diwas- Rajnath Singh Urges To All CMs To Forget Politics, Celebrate 20 Years Of Kargil Victory
By: Pinki Tue, 23 July 2019 3:33 PM
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has written to chief ministers of all states urging them to participate in the celebrations of 20 years of the Kargil War victory by organising events alongside those planned by the Centre.
Rajnath Singh, in his letter dated April 11 to the chief ministers, said, "I would be grateful if you can spare time from your busy schedules to participate in programmes organised by MoD [Ministry of Defence]. It would be really wonderful if state governments can organise their own programmes."
An official familiar with the development said the move by Rajnath Singh "shouldn't be seen as an event limited to the central government or the Ministry of Defence." It also sends a message that Kargil war celebrations go beyond political differences, he said.
The idea is that the entire nation celebrates and commemorates the limited India-Pakistan war in which over 500 Indian troops sacrificed their lives trying to drive out Pakistani intruders. Pakistan Army regulars who had infiltrated and occupied several mountain peaks in the Kargil sector of Jammu and Kashmir after crossing the Line of Control.
Rajnath Singh assured the chief ministers that senior military officers can be in touch with the chief secretaries to plan events and provide help if needed. The defence minister will be going to lay wreath at Kargil War Memorial in Dras on July 20 to mark 20th anniversary of Operation Vijay.
Later, on July 26, the President of India Ram Nath Kovind is expected to be in Dras for the celebrations. A Kargil victory flame in a relay is being carried to Dras in Kargil from New Delhi. Rajnath Singh handed over the flame to ace army shooter Subedar Jitu Rai in the national capital.
The victory flame is being carried by Indian Army's outstanding sportsmen and war heroes. It will reach the Kargil War Memorial in Dras passing through nine major cities of North India. Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat will receive the victory flame on July 26 in Dras.
"This victory flame and the journey of the eternal flame from the National War Memorial to the Kargil War Memorial brings alive the theme of the 20th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas -- 'Remember, Rejoice and Renew'. We 'remember' our martyrs by revisiting their sacrifices, we 'rejoice' by celebrating the victory in Kargil and we 'renew' our resolve to safeguard the honour of the Tricolour," the MoD said in a statement.
Pakistan had corssed the Line of Control (LoC) surreptitiously and erected camps on hilltops in Kargil in 1999. This came to light on May 3, when Tashi Namgyal, a shepherd from Garkhon village first spotted the intruders at Jubar ridgeline in Batalik.
Namgyal had had gone looking for a lost yak in the hills along with two of his friends. Peering through his binoculars, he saw six soldiers dressed in black Pathani outfits and surmised they would be Pakistan Army people. He alerted the army.
The Indian Army swung in action. It found that the bulk of the intruders were soldiers from the Northern Light Infantry of the Pakistan Army. The Indian Army pushed back the Pakistani troops from Kargil.
The Kargil war was declared over on July 26 that year. The day is observed as Kargil Vijay Diwas in commemoration of India's victory over Pakistan in the short war.