20 years of Kargil war: IAF recreates Tiger Hill operation
20 years ago, the valiant Indian forces fought Pakistanis to reclaim our territories which were captured. Yes, we are talking about the 1999 Kargil War, which once again proved the valor of Indian officers. And on Monday, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Kargil war, Indian Air Force recreated one of the most iconic wins- the retake of Tiger Hill. Here's all about it.
Pakistani army and infiltrators captured important peaks, started Kargil war
In the summer of 1999, the Indian forces launched a massive operation to weed out Pakistani infiltrators and army regulars who had captured crucial peaks. Of these peaks, Tololing, Tiger Hill, Pt 4875 were extremely important, due to their altitudes. When brave soldiers tried to retake what was ours, they were welcomed by bullets. Nevertheless, they kept at it and Pakistan lost the war.
Retaking Tiger Hill wasn't an easy task for Indian Army
To retake Tiger Hill, Indian Army sent 8 Sikh, 2 Naga, and 18 Grenadiers battalions. The operation started on July 2 and ended on July 4. Colonel Balwan Singh Panghal, who was lieutenant at the time and under whose command the Army reclaimed Tiger Hill, recalled the operation recently. In an interview, he said Pakistanis had an advantage and Indians didn't taste success initially.
In the beginning, India lost six soldiers
"When we started assault, firstly only seven soldiers managed to reach one of posts on Tiger Hill and they killed 30-35 Pakistani soldiers, but out of these seven soldiers, six died and only Sepoy Yoginder Singh Yadav managed to come back," he said.
Tricolor was waved at Tiger Hill after five-hour long battle
Based on the crucial information which Singh brought, Panghal made a strategy. During the final assault, India didn't lose any soldier and retook Tiger Hill after a fierce gun battle which lasted for five hours. While Indians can never thank the brave soldiers enough, IAF recreated the scene to remind them of the sacrifices. The event was organized at the Gwalior Airbase of IAF.
Watch: IAF's retelling brings back memories
#WATCH Commemorating 20 years of #KargilWar, Indian Air Force at Gwalior Air Base recreates Tiger Hill attack and display aircraft used during 'Operation Vijay'. #MadhyaPradesh pic.twitter.com/K3kh4FPnXW— ANI (@ANI) June 24, 2019
Interestingly, BS Dhanoa attended the event, IAF displayed its strength
Apart from recreating the important milestone, IAF also put five Mirage 2000s, two MiG-21s and one Sukhoi 30 MKI on display at the event, whose guest of honor was Air Chief Marshall BS Dhanoa. The event was also attended by several gallantry award winners, who displayed their bravery in the Kargil war. Separately, the Indian Army has planned several events to celebrate Kargil win.
Meanwhile, Dhanoa said Pakistani jets didn't cross LoC after airstrikes
In his interaction with media, Dhanoa spoke about Balakot airstrikes, which were launched in retaliation to Pulwama attack of February 14. As part of the operation, 12 IAF jets breached Pakistani airspace, bombed Jaish-e-Mohammed's terror camp and returned unscratched. Subsequently, Pakistan also sent its jets to India but Dhanoa clarified that none of their planes crossed Line of Control (LoC).
They wanted to strike our Army bases, but couldn't: Dhanoa
"The main thing that you should look at is what the objective of the military operation was. Our objective was to strike in Balakot and we achieved it. Their objective was to strike our army bases but they could not do it," Dhanoa told media.