Sunday, August 1, 2010

Kargil war a saga of bravery and courage

A Report on Kargil Day function held on- 26th JULY 2010 at Dehradun
Kargil war was unique saga of bravery and courage in a difficult terrain
Dehradun Ex-Services League arranged a programme where all Ex- Servicemen of Dehradun, irrespective of any affiliations, assembled at old Rangers College hall, 25 Subhash Road on Monday the 26th July 2010 at 1030 hrs to pay tributes to Kargil War Heroes. The Chief Minister Uttarakhand, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank was the chief guest on the occasion and shri Ganesh Joshi, MLA Rajpur and an Ex Soldier, the Guest of Honour. The Chief Minister, the Guest of Honour and the Patrons Lt Gen Anand Swaroop, PVSM, MVC, and Air Marshal G Sen PVSM, AVSM, VM, and Lt Gen OP Kaushik PVSM,AVSM,VSM, Lt Gen K.K.Khanna, PVSM,AVSM,VSM, and Brig KG Behl President DESL, laid wreaths at Kargil War Memorial and on behalf of all and came to join the function being arranged at old Rangers College hall to honour the Kargil War Heroes and their families assembled there. A large number of Ex- Servicemen, including Air Martial B.D.Jayal, PVSM,AVSM,VM, Lt GEN CB Jhaldiyal, Maj Gen C Nandwani, Retd Commissioner Shri SS Pangti, participated in the function to pay tributes. Brig Behl presented to the Chief Minister list of demands of Ex Servicemen and requested him to announce acceptance of some of those today.

Welcoming all especially the Chief Minister, guest of Honour, senior officers and invited Veeranganas and members of the families, Brig Behl emphasized the importance of Kargil War which was unique and a saga of bravery and courage. The exemplary courage was shown in a terrain which was extremely difficult with a very steep slope, at a height ranging between 10000 to 18000 feet full of boulders in cold windy weather, on top of which the enemy was spitting fire with full force. To pierce through such a field and capture posts where enemy was fully entrenched, needed lions heart and courage, which our Heroes showed at the stake of their lives to bring honour to the country by fluttering Indian National Flag on those posts.

The honour given to these heroes too was onerous and set tradition for the others to follow. Earlier the bodies of the shahids(dead), used to be cremated in field itself and the kith and kin were informed and their belongings were sent to them. But a new tradition was set in Kargil War and then onwards bodies of all those, who laid their lives in field, are sent to their homes and are cremated with full military honours. It was a big change, which gave satisfaction to the families and units who could perform last rites of their Heroes.

Another important decision was to give pension to the old parents and dependents in addition to the widow and provide job to one of the members where ever possible.

In this war 533 lost their lives and about 3000 were injured. Some of them were honoured with different Gallantry awards which included 4 PARAM VIR Chakras, 9 Mahavir Chakras and many Kirti Chakras, Vir Chakras and other medals and awards and decorations. Air Force played a big role in this war and gave support to destroy enemy positions especially when they had the limitations not to cross LOC. We salute their bravery and courage. It is an occasion to remember all of them and pay our homage.

In this war, quite a large number of soldiers from Uttarakhand(76) showed their valour at the cost of their lives and 18 of them came from Dehradun District alone. We are proud of them and pay our homage. Most of the veeranganas and or members of the families are with us today and the Chief Minister will himself honoured each of them.

The Media too played a big role in this war and took courage to move with troops to forward areas and transmit live action pictures on TV screens at home for all to watch, realise and appreciate how difficult the areas and assaults were. We are really thankful to all those involved and sufferings they faced. We thank Print and Electronic Media who kept us informed of all activities.

As a mark of respect and rememberance to the Kargil War Heroes a candle will be supplied to all participants which they will light at the gate of their entrance to their houses at 8 pm on 26 July 2010.

Mr. Ganesh Joshi, MLA and Guest of Honour, who is an Ex Saervicemen, praised the good work being done by the Chief Minister and his Govt. and high lighted the genuine demands of Ex-Servicemen and impressed upon the chief Minister to make declaration on some of the demands on this historic Day especially of Martyrs Memorial for the State, rebate on the sales Tax on sale of vehicles booked through CSD, and opening of a Gorkha centre .

Major Gen OP Sabarwal, SM former President of DESL, said that the Kargil War took place due to Pakistan Army taking over vacant Indian posts immediately after snow melted. They had plans to cut off the National High way that would have denied access to Ladakh and Siachin. He said that about 66,000, persons have lost their lives due to terrorism. He blamed the Central Govt. for their weak policy on Defence. He pointed out that Rs. 50 crores have been spent on the security of Kasab and 30 crores on Afzal Guru but they have no money when it comes to Defence requirements. Gen Sabarwal wanted Govt. to go offensive rather than defensive every time.

Brig PS Gurung, YSM whose son attained martyrdom, said that the satisfaction which the parents get from the martyrdom of their sons was much greater than the tears they shed in life.

The Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ the Chief Guest apologized for the delay, especially from the senior officers and others who left during the time.. He said that Uttarakhand is like the head of the country and it needs to be treated like that by the every one including the Central Govt. in solving state matters and provide all the assistance needed for its development. Security is most important as it touches the International Boundary. He was happy on the big gathering of Ex-Servicemen and the families of Kargil War Martyrs. He announced that next time onwards Kargil Day will be celebrated by the Govt. as Shaurya, Day, in schools and colleges as well where students should learn from the exemplary bravery, courage and sacrifices made. He announced sanction of Rs. One Crore for the construction of State War Memorial. He also declared exemption of sales Tax imposed by the state Govt. on the purchase of vehicles through CSD for which they go to other adjoining states to save that and in the process the state loses revenue indirectly. On the demand of exemption of House Tax, the CM also assured that he will study the house tax being charged by other states and will ensure that it is least in this state, if not full exemption.

Regarding reestablishment of Gorkha centre at Dehradun, the CM assured that he will personally take up this proposal with the Defence Minister.

The CM said that his Govt. was committed to working for the welfare of the soldiers and their families and the Govt. has taken many steps in this direction. He assured Brig Behl that all demands/ suggestions submitted will be looked into. He said that Uttarakhand had been a land of warriors and its youths always came forward to sacrifice their lives for the Nation. He remarked that though Punjab had the maximum number of casualties during Kargil war but Uattarakhand, keeping in mind the population of the state, had the largest number of Martyrs. He added that when some soldier sacrifices his life for the Nation, he is not lost but becomes immortal.

In his vote of thanks, Brig Behl, thanked all who came to make this function successful, especially Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, for his generous announcements and Mr. Ganesh Joshi and members of the families of Kargil war warriors. He thanked FRI and their staff who helped and made the premises available. He thanked Lt Col BM Thapa, who compered the function and Hon(Capt) AS Gosain as both of them worked hard to make it a success. Brig Behl also thanked his team of officials and heads of Shakhas who helped in organizing it and made it successful.

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