The following report -- released by the United News of India news agency on July 16, 2011 -- is for your kind perusal.
DEFENCE-KARGIL-IESM ACTIVITIES (ATTN SRINAGAR) Kargil anniv: Veterans' activities to start on July 20
Bhopal, July 16 (UNI) Pride and grief form a heart-rending cocktail as veterans of the Indian Armed Forces prepare for a bouquet of programmes as tribute to the indomitable courage of the nation's military officers and men who made the supreme sacrifice during the Kargil conflict whose 12th anniversary will be observed on July 26.
The Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) commemorates the valour of these brave-hearts on that day each year through countrywide activities. This time round the activities start in the week preceding Kargil Vijay Diwas.
"Amongst all military actions since Independence, Operation Vijay was not only the longest but the ferociousness brought about heavy casualties. As many as 527 personnel were martyred and 1,363 severely wounded. Four Param Vir Chakras (PVCs) were awarded, two posthumously and nine Maha Vir Chakras were awarded, six posthumously besides 55 Vir Chakras," narrated IESM Vice-Chairman Major-General (Retd) Satbir Singh, Sena Medal.
The tenacity with which Indian Army units precariously negotiated the razor-edged mountain ridges in darkness -- for daylight spelt doom from the machine-gun-swept mountain slopes bereft of vegetation -- is testimony to the leadership, training and professionalism of the best Army in the world.
heir officers -- two of whom deserve special mention -- led the valiant soldiers from the front in true Indian Army ethos.
Captain Vikram Batra (IC-57556) of the 13 JAK Rif (the 13th Battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles Regiment) was martyred while dragging injured Lieutenant Naveen towards cover. Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey (IC-56959) of the 1/11 Gorkha Rifles said "Na chhornu" (Do not leave them) to his jawans before succumbing to wounds caused while leading his platoon through a hail of gunfire during the capture of Khalubar. Both officers were decorated with PVCs posthumously.
DEFENCE-KARGIL-IESM ACTIVITIES BHOPAL
"The years since Independence have seen an ever-declining interest in matters military. Kargil happened just a decade plus back and was confined to history within 365 days! Our forces entering Dhaka in December '71 and the heroes of the Kargil conflict are oft forgotten," alleged IESM Member Colonel (Retd) Rakesh Prasad Chaturvedi.
Rather than being confined to cantonment commemorations, IESM feels that participation by the citizenry would spread awareness a lot better. Starting on Wednesday, veterans will give lectures in schools. Taking the conflict as the backdrop, they will talk on inculcation of intrinsic qualities like values and camaraderie that characterise the Armed Forces fraternity.
On July 24, homage will be paid from 1100-1300 hrs to martyrs at the Shaheed Smarak in Sector 29, New Okhla Industrial Development Authority Area. Blood donation and organ-pledging are planned on site for those who volunteer. Over 500 persons are expected.
Several households -- both military and non-military ones -- have appreciatively adopted the poignant ceremony of lighting candles at home in the past two years. At 2000 hrs on Kargil Vijay Diwas, citizens across India are requested to light a candle each at their residences' entrances and lay a marigold each by its side after saying a prayer for those who did not come back. This may additionally be done at offices.
A university students' group will conduct a theatrical poetry performance at the Vivekananda International Foundation, Chanakyapuri, Delhi. IESM appeals to media and the people of India to join in commemorating Kargil Vijay Diwas in a befitting manner to generate the spirit of Bharat. UNI AC 0832
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