On July 26, 1999 the Indian Army recaptured the posts in Kargil that had been occupied by Pakistan's army. They fought for 60 days at treacherous high altitude and glaciated terrain across the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

More than 500 soldiers from Indian Armed Forces sacrificed their lives during the war.

On the occasion of the Kargil Vijay Diwas, here are four brave jawans who were conferred the Param Vir Chakra for their valor and courage and ensured India’s victory in the war.

  1. Captain Vikram Batra

Captain Vikram Batra was born in Himachal Pradesh. Batra was commissioned as a lieutenant into the Indian Army after passing out of the Indian Military Academy. He was commissioned into the 13th battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles (13 JAK) and was in the town of Sopore in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir.

When his battalion was tasked with the capturing of Point 5140, he led the Delta company towards the peak. While climbing the peak, the Pakistani soldiers came out of their bunkers and put down heavy fire with their machine guns.  Batra, along with five of his men, climbed up regardless and after reaching the top, hurled two grenades at the machine gun post. Batra killed three soldiers single-handedly in close combat and was injured. Batra was killed during the capture of Point 4875. He was called Sher Shah (Lion King) in Pakistani intercepts.

  1. Naib Subedar Sanjay Kumar

Sanjay Kumar also hails from Himachal Pradesh. On 4 July 1999, as a member of the 13th Battalion, Jammu & Kashmir Rifles, Sanjay Kumar, who was a rifleman then, was the leading scout of a team tasked to capturing Area Flat Top, during the Kargil War. Having scaled the cliff, the team was pinned down by machine gun fire from a Pakistani bunker, about 150 meters away.

Kumar climbed alone and charged towards the bunker. He took two bullets in his chest and forearm. But that could not stop him and he continued charging towards the bunker. He killed three enemy soldiers in close combat. He picked an enemy machine gun and rained bullets on a second bunker and killed all the enemy soldiers there. This inspired his platoon who charged and captured Area Flat Top.

  1. Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav

Yogendra Singh Yadav from Uttar Pradesh was enlisted with the 18 Grenadiers. He was part of the commando platoon ‘Ghatak’ and was asked to capture three strategic bunkers on Tiger Hill in the early morning hours of 4 July 1999. The bunkers were situated on a 1000-foot high vertical ledge. Yogendra Singh Yadav volunteered to lead the assault. Halfway up, an enemy bunker opened up machine gun and rocket fire, killing the platoon commander and two others. Though severely injured, he crawled to the first bunker and lobbed a grenade, killing four Pakistani soldiers and neutralizing enemy fire.

Yogendra Singh Yadav then charged the second bunker along with two soldiers and engaged in hand-to-hand combat, killing four Pakistani soldiers. The platoon subsequently succeeded in capturing Tiger Hill.

  1. Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey

Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey was an Indian Army Officer of 1/11 Gorkha Rifles. During the Kargil War he led his men to capture the Jubar top which was considered as important due to its strategic location. On the way towards the location the enemy fired upon the Indian soldiers, stalling the Indian attack. Displaying great courage, he surged ahead of his troops and charged at the enemy with a full-throated battle cry through a hail of bullets.

Although wounded in the shoulder and leg, he pressed on. He reached the first bunker and killed two enemy soldiers in hand-to-hand combat. Inspired by their leader's spontaneous valour, the troops charged at the enemy and fell upon them.  Even with fatal injuries he pushed on from bunker to bunker. He finally fell at the final bunker, having captured the position with his men.