Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said, “Out of 527 Indian soldiers martyred during Kargil War, 52 were from Himachal Pradesh and out of four Param Vir Chakra winners two were from the state.”
Captain Vikram Batra was one such brave heart from Palampur of the state, who sacrificed his life for the country, he said, adding that Hawaldar Sanjay Kumar of District Bilaspur was also honoured with Param Vir Chakra, for his gallantry during Kargil War. He said that Himachal Pradesh is known as Vir Bhumi and has always followed the tradition of courage and sacrifice.
Kargil Vijay Diwas is a symbol of unwavering patriotism, extraordinary bravery, valour and determination of our armed forces and on this historic day every Indian remembers the sacrifices of our brave soldiers with a sense of gratitude, he added.
He said this while presiding over a State level Kargil Diwas function held at Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday to pay tributes to the martyrs of Kargil War.
“Kargil is was a symbol of bravery, courage and sacrifice of our armed forces as they fought valiantly in extremely harsh conditions to defend our motherland. Their act of valour and indomitable spirit will remain etched forever as a defining moment in India’s history,” he said.
Thakur said that Kargil Vijay Diwas was a victory saga written 23 years ago at the peaks of Kargil and would be motivating the generation to come.
He said that in 1999 after the Pakistani intruders and Pak army infiltrated the Indian peaks, the Indian soldiers initiated Operation Vijay against them on 8th May to throw them out.
The then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at that time had warned Pakistan that the world has seen Indian respect to peace, and now the world would witness India’s military might and valour, he added.
“The victory achieved during Operation Vijay was the victory of the brave-hearts of the country. The Kargil war infused a sense of nationalism and patriotism in the hearts of every Indian,” he said.
He said that the Centre and state governments also ensured that the family members of martyrs get all possible help during the testing times.
The Chief Minister announced Rs 70 lakh for construction of a ‘Shaheed Park’ at Hamirpur near statue of Shaheed Captain Mridul Sharma.
He also announced the opening of Jal Shakti Sub Division at Didwin Tikkar on the occasion.