Story of an unsung hero of Kargil- Captain Vikram Batra

Yesterday marked the 21st death anniversary of Captain Vikram Batra, popularly known as Sher Shah. The entire nation poured love while remembering him. Born on 9th September 1974 in Himachal Pradesh, Capt Vikram joined the Indian army in 1997 with 13th JK rifles, and because of his extraordinary skills, within two years he became a captain. He served the Indian army with utmost faith and is the reason why India won the Kargil war of 1999 against Pakistan.

Vikram was leading his team in the Operation Vijay and on 20th June was able to successfully capture the Point 5140, which was amongst the crucial points. He led from the front and even indulged into direct combat, and single-handedly killed three Pakistani soldiers. Happy with his victory Batra cheerfully shouted- Yeh dil maange more! The news of his triumph spread across the nation. He was the new headline in every newspaper and at every news channel. The nation named him ‘The Lion of Kargil’ and the ‘Kargil Hero’.

Soon after, he decided to move further and now had his eyes on Pt 4875. This point was more dangerous than the previous one. But Batra along with his colleagues, Lieutenant Naveen and Lieutenant Anuj Nayyar, moved forward to accomplish this mission. Pt 4875, located in Mushkoh Valley, was 16000 feet high, but Batra was determined to win and kept on moving ahead despite of the heavy firing from the other end. He had his mind clear, he knew how important it was to capture this point for winning, and he knew he had to win.

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It was July 6, and by now, he had suffered injuries and even had a fever, but he insisted to continue along with his team. The tough and extreme conditions couldn’t stop him, and despite thick fog and other difficulties, he kept moving. With their courageous fighting, they finally made the enemy retreat. Batra had always put his safety at the back end and always worried about his fellow teammates.

His aim was not only to win but also not to have even a single causality. Even this time he stuck to his aim. His colleague, Lieutenant Naveen, got his legs severely injured as a grenade exploded near him. Batra saw this and immediately left to rescue him. He was asked not to but the one with a golden heart selflessly asked his colleague to step aside saying- ‘tu bal bacchedaar hai’ (You have children). Saving him, this soon to be 25 officers, suffered injuries and finally succumbed to death on 7th July 1999.

On 15th August 1999 Captian Vikram Batra was, posthumously, awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the highest award for valour in India.  Lieutenant Anuj Nayyar who also died during the same, was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, the second-highest.  This young man, who had plans to marry his love Dimple Cheema, after returning from the Kargil war, sacrificed his life for the nation. He is still remembered for his courage, his leadership, his energy and his smile and would be forever.

Before going to the Kargil war, he told his friend- “Either I will come back after hoisting the Indian flag, or I will come back wrapped in it, but I will come back for sure”. Made India win by his supreme sacrifice and came back wrapped in the flag, but will always remain alive in our hearts and prayers.

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