indica News Bureau-
Ceremonies across India Friday at war memorials at Kharga Corps, Vajra Corps and Rising Star Corps of Western Command at Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, according to published reports marked the 20th anniversary of Operation Vijay, also known as the Kargil War or Kargil Conflict fought between India and Pakistan over control of the Kargil district in Jammu and Kashmir,
The functions were held at Ambala, Jalandhar and Yol Cantonment near Dharamsala and other locations. Commemoration activities organized in various Indian Army schools in military stations and cantonments included patriotic songs, painting and debate competitions on the Kargil Vijay Diwas theme, according to published reports.
At Yol (Himachal Pradesh), a motivational talk by Sub. Maj (honorary Captain) Bana Singh was also organized, media reports said. Screenings of motivational Kargil War movies were also shown at all locations including at Chandimandir.
At the Kargil War Memorial in Dras on Friday all three service chiefs and the the Army chief at the time of the conflict, other veterans and kin of soldiers participated in ceremonies marking the anniversary, according to published reports.
Dras ceremonies began with a wreath laying by senior dignitaries at the War Memorial located at the foothills of the Tololing feature. This was followed by flagging-in of the “Victory Flame” by Gen. Rawat and its “merging” with the “Eternal Flame” at the memorial. The Victory Flame was lit by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on July 14 from the Eternal Flame at the National War Memorial in New Delhi, and reached Dras after having being carried in relay across a distance of more than 600 miles through major cities and towns in north India.
At Dras, AF chief and Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, was the first to pay tribute to the martyrs of Operation Vijay at the memorial by laying a wreath, followed by observation of two minutes of silence, published reports said.
Army chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat, Navy chief, Admiral Karambir Singh, Army’s Northern Command chief, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and ‘Fire and Fury’ Corps chief Lt. Gen. Y.K. Joshi also paid their respects to the martyrs, according to published reports
Gen V.P. Malik (retired), who was Army chief during the Kargil War, senior military and civilian dignitaries, veterans and ‘soldiers’ widows also attend the ceremonies in Dras.
The 20th anniversary celebration theme was “Remember – Rejoice – Renew,” with tributes to martyrs and talk of pride and respect, rejoicing and renewing the resolve to safeguard the nation and its values, according to published reports.
Operation Viiay was the Indian government’s mobilization of 200,000 troops to counter Pakistan’s infiltration into the region.
On the Indian side official numbers were 527 dead and 1,363 wounded, according to published reports. Numbers of casualties on the Pakistan side range for the hundreds to thousands killed and injured depending on the source.