Press Trust of india

Rajnath to pay tribute to Kargil heroes at war memorial in Dras today

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New Delhi, Jul 19 :  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will lay a wreath at the  Kargil War Memorial in Dras on Saturday to commemorate 20 years of the Indian Army’s Operation Vijay, officials said.

In a statement, the Defence Ministry Friday said Singh will also dedicate to the nation two bridges built by the Border Roads Organisation at Ujh in Kathua district and Basantar in Samba district.

The Ujh bridge is one kilometre-long and the Basantar bridge is 617.4 metres.

The Defence minister will lay the wreath at the Kargil War Memorial in Dras on Saturday on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Operation Vijay that was against the intrusion by militias as well as regular troops of Pakistan in the Kargil sector in Jammu and Kashmir, the statement said.

“Brave soldiers of the Indian Army had overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, hostile terrain, weather, and a determined enemy occupying dominating heights, to win the Kargil War with the help of the Indian Air Force, which gave air support to the Army,” the ministry said.

A host of events have been organised and a few major ones are lined up to mark the 20 years of the conflict.

Operation Vijay refers to the Indian Army’s limited war against Pakistan’s infiltration in 1999 fought at the icy heights of Kargil, including super-high altitude locations such as Tololing and Tiger Hill.

One of the major events is the relay of a Victory Flame from the National War Memorial (NWM) here to the Kargil War Memorial at Dras.

The Defence minister on July 14 handed over the flame to ace army shooter Subedar Jitu Rai, who represented India as the first torchbearer at the NWM here.

The Victory Flame is being carried by the Indian Army’s outstanding sportsmen and war heroes from Delhi to Dras.

It will pass through nine major towns or cities of north India and finally culminate at the Karambhoomi of the martyrs at the Kargil War Memorial at Dras on July 26, where it will be received by the Army chief, the ministry said.

All along the journey, Indian Army personnel will pay homage to the heroes who fought valiantly for the nation at the icy heights of Kargil in 1999.

The Victory Flame and the journey of the eternal flame from the National War Memorial to the Kargil War Memorial brings alive the theme of the 20th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas – ‘Remember, Rejoice and Renew’.

“We ‘remember’ our martyrs by revisiting their sacrifices, we ‘rejoice’ by celebrating the victory in Kargil and we ‘renew’ our resolve to safeguard the honour of the tricolour,” the statement said.

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