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Meet Rifleman Sanjay Kumar: The second recipient of Param Vir Chakra from his unit

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Sanjay_Kumar_PVCBy Ila Garg

Kargil War Heroes – Part 10

16 years of the tragic war at Kargil could not take the painful memories away. They continue to haunt us deep inside. The bloodshed that accompanied the war still makes the families of the martyrs cringe. Then how can the denizens of India ever forget the soldiers who fought with great tenacity for the love of nation?

While many soldiers sacrificed their lives at the war front, only a few managed to survive. Amidst the valiant, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar is the proud recipient of country’s highest gallantry award, Param Vir Chakra. Last year, he was promoted as junior commissioned officer on the post of Naib Subedar.

During the Kargil war, he was with the 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. The 13 JAK Rifles is the only unit in the history of independent India to be awarded two PVCs in a single operation. The other one was awarded to Capt. Vikram Batra who laid down his life in the defence of the country.

On 4 July 1999, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar and his team were given the task of clearing Point 4875 also known as “Flat Top” situated in Mushkoh Valley. He was the leading scout man. It was a dangerous mission though, and the intruders who were occupying the post had all advantages. Somehow Sanjay Kumar and his platoon managed to scale the cliff and were pinned down by machine-gun fire from an enemy bunker that was about 150 meters away.

The initial assault thus failed. In the wee hours of 5 July 1999, the Indian army planned a final attack. It was a defining moment in the career of Rifleman Sanjay Kapur when he was asked to lead the attack. He took the golden opportunity to serve his nation and charged at the enemy bunkers, killing several intruders. After destroying the first bunker, he ran out of ammunition and was hit by two bullets in his thigh. But he didn’t give up easily. He went ahead and snatched a machine gun from a Pakistani solider. Subsequently, he captured the second bunker too. His bravery resulted in the successful accomplishment of the mission.

The unit recovered a large quantity of arms and ammunition too.Havaldar-to-Lance-Naik

Very few people know that before selection into Army in 1996, Sanjay Kapur, who is a native of Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh, used to drive a taxi on the jam-packed roads of Delhi to earn a livelihood. He was selected by the Indian Army on 4 June 1996 after being rejected twice earlier. Now, his second brother is a sepoy too.

Sanjay was only 23 when he was awarded the PVC, an honour bestowed only on 21 soldiers since 1950.

More in this segment:

Kargil War Heroes – Part 1
Kargil War Heroes – Part 2
Kargil War Heroes – Part 3
Kargil War Heroes – Part 4
Kargil War Heroes – Part 5
Kargil War Heroes – Part 6
Kargil War Heroes – Part 7
Kargil War Heroes – Part 8
Kargil War Heroes – Part 9
Kargil War Heroes – Part 11
Kargil War Heroes – Part 12
Kargil War Heroes – Part 13
Kargil War Heroes – Part 14
Kargil War Heroes – Part 15

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World’s Oldest serving Aircraft Carrier ‘INS Viraat’ set to retire from Indian Navy

Viraat was completed and commissioned in Britain's Royal Navy as HMS Hermes

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Warship INS Viraat, Wikimedia

India, March 6, 2017: The world’s oldest aircraft carrier in service, the INS Viraat,is set to retire on Monday from the Indian Navy.

On Monday evening, the Naval flag atop the ship, also known as the “grand old lady”, will be lowered and wrapped at sunset, marking an end to its long journey of 55 years, including 30 years in the Indian Navy.

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Viraat was completed and commissioned in Britain’s Royal Navy as HMS Hermes.

In 1984, it was decommissioned from the Royal Navy and subsequently was commissioned by the Indian Navy on May 12, 1987.

The ship has seen a series of aircraft operate from its decks, including the the Sea Harrier, White Tigers, Seaking 42B, Seaking 42C and Chetaks.

Under the Indian Flag, various aircraft have flown more than 22,034 hours from the decks of the INS Viraat which implies that the carrier has been at sea for over six years covering the entire globe about 27 times.

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The ship played a major role in the Operation Jupiter in 1989 as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force operations in Sri Lanka and Operation Vijay in 1999 during the Kargil War.

The last operational deployment of the ship was at the International Fleet Review (IFR-2016) in Visakhapatnam. (IANS)

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Pakistan was preparing to use nukes during Kargil war: Ex-White House Official

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Image: Wikipedia

New Delhi: Pakistan was preparing its nuclear weapons for deployment and possible use against India during the 1999 Kargil war when its army was suffering heavy casualties at the hands of the latter, the CIA had warned then President Bill Clinton, a former top White House official has said.

The CIA briefed Bill Clinton in this regard in July 4, 1999 when the president was scheduled to meet the visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif had rushed to Washington and sought a meeting with Clinton in the wake of heavy losses suffered by Pakistani army by their Indian counterparts, looking for an honorable exit when a defeat seemed imminent.

“The morning of the Fourth (of July, 1999), the CIA wrote in its top-secret Daily Brief that Pakistan was preparing its nuclear weapons for deployment and possible use. The intelligence was very compelling. The mood in the Oval Office was grim,” Bruce Riedel, who worked at the time in the National Security Council of the White House and was among the few present at the Clinton-Sharif meeting said, NDTV reported.

ALSO READ: How India, Pakistan can avoid nuclear war

Riedel made the revelations in an obituary he wrote for Sandy Berger, former national security advisor to Clinton, who died of cancer on Wednesday.

“Berger urged Clinton to hear out Sharif, but to be firm… Pakistan started this crisis and it must end it without any compensation. The president needed to make clear to the prime minister that only a Pakistani withdrawal could avert further escalation,” he wrote.

“Sandy knew Clinton better than anyone, his natural inclination was to find a deal. This time, no deal was possible, it must be an unequivocal Pakistani climbdown,” Riedel said.

“It worked. Sharif agreed to pull back his troops. It later cost him his job: The army ousted him in a coup and he spent a decade in exile in Saudi Arabia. But the risk of a nuclear exchange in South Asia was averted,” Riedel wrote.

(With inputs from agencies)

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SC dismisses plea for probe into Kargil war purchases

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea for investigation into purchase at inflated price of caskets for soldiers martyred during the Kargil war and other items since the issues had been decided by trial courts.

An apex court bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice V. Gopala Gowda declined the plea as counsel S Balasubramanian appearing for the Centre told the court that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had arraigned one Victor Baiza in the aluminium casket purchase case, but he was discharged by the court of metropolitan magistrate.

Similarly, Balasubramanian said, the CBI investigated the charges of wrongdoing in the purchase of Krasonpol ammunition, found nothing and filed a closure report that too was accepted by a trial court.

Balasubramanian said that allegations of wrongdoing in the purchase of snow suits were based on mere apprehensions as no contract was entered into and consequently no money was paid.

KG Dhananjay Chauhan moved the apex court for investigation into the alleged wrongdoings in the purchases done during the Kargil war in 1999 and sought putting in place a transparent procedure for the purchase of defence material.

The plea for investigation into the alleged scams had become infructuous in the wake of lower courts’ decisions, the apex court said.

(IANS)