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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh pays tribute to Kargil war heroes at National War Memorial

‘I congratulate all Indian citizens on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas. The sacrifices made by soldiers, which helped us win the Kargil war, will always be a source of inspiration for the armed forces,’ Singh told reporters.

SNS | New Delhi |

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid tributes to the soldiers who laid their lives for the country in Kargil war, at the National War Memorial in the national capital on Sunday. It is the 21st anniversary of the  Kargil war with Pakistan which took place in 1999.

On July 26, 1999, the Indian Army had announced the successful culmination of “Operation Vijay”, declaring victory after the nearly three-month-long battles in the icy heights of Kargil. The country lost more than 500 soldiers in the war.

“I congratulate all Indian citizens on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas. The sacrifices made by soldiers, which helped us win the Kargil war, will always be a source of inspiration for the armed forces,” Singh told reporters.

Along with the defence minister, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General M M Naravane, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh also paid tributes at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the National War Memorial.

Singh paid gratitude to those who laid down their lives in the service of the nation and bowed to their families, who despite losing their loved ones, remained steadfast in their support of the national resolve in driving out the enemies from Indian territory.

“I am also grateful to those who despite becoming disabled in battle, continue to serve the country in their own ways and have set examples worthy of emulation by the nation,” Singh said.

He also said that Kargil Vijay Diwas is indeed a celebration of India’s proud tradition of outstanding military service, exemplary valour and sacrifice.

The Kargil war was declared over on July 26, 1999, after Indian soldiers pushed back the Pakistani troops, a bulk of them drawn from the neighbouring country’s Northern Light Infantry, from the captured peaks. The day is observed as “Kargil Vijay Diwas” to commemorate India’s victory in the war.

The occasion comes even as the Indian and Chinese armies are locked in a bitter standoff at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for the last 10 weeks. The tension escalated manifold after 20 Indian soldiers were killed by the Chinese troops in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on June 15.

(With agency inputs)