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Capt. Vijyant Thapar: He sacrificed his today for our tomorrow

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photo88By Ila Garg

Kargil War Heroes – Part 8

Carrying forward the family legacy, Capt. Vijyant Thapar joined the armed forces. His family had served in the Army for a long time. In fact, he was named after the name of the main battle tanks of the army. His great grandfather Dr. Capt. Karta Ram Thapar, his grandfather Mr. J.S. Thapar, and his father Col. V.N. Thapar all served the Army during their professional lives. Vijyant’s grandfather encouraged him to join the Army. Capt. Vijyant’s father retired after 37 years’ service in 1999 and in the same year that Capt. Vijyant was commissioned.

Capt. Vijyant then joined the 2 Rajputana Rifles at Gwalior. The battalion then moved to Kashmir to check insurgency. While still involved in this counter insurgency, orders were received for the unit to evict the enemy who had occupied Tololing, Tiger Hill, and adjoining heights.ima-friend

Capt. Vijyant with his troops moved to the Drass sector under Col. M.B. Ravindernath, commanding officer, and his company commander Major Padmapani Acharya. Initial attempts were no good. On the night of June 12, 1999, Capt. Vijyant Thapar led his platoon to capture a Pakistani post called Barbad Bunker. His diary notes show how in close combat he killed two soldiers but was disappointed at not being able to capture the two enemy soldiers alive.

After the victory of Tololing, he spoke to his mother on a V Sat telephone and proudly said, “Mumma, we have captured Tololing.” 2 Rajputana Rifles was then given the task of captaining Three Pimples, Knoll. Capt. Vijyant Thapar aka ‘Robin’ fought like a valiant and true soldier. These forbidding heights were held by enemy Northern Light Infantry (NLI). The troops of NLI (Pakistan) had all the advantages – well entrenched in strongly prepared familypositions, well stocked with precipitous slopes on both sides, while the Indian troops were devoid of cover. With almost vertical climbs at an altitude of 15000 ft and a temperature of -15 °C, it was indeed an impossible mission.

There were intense artillery shelling and heavy bombardment. Some brave soldiers lost their lives and some more were injured, causing the attack to be disrupted for a short while. However, Capt. Vijyant was a brave-heart. With his undying spirit, love to serve the nation, and tremendous urge to capture Knoll, he gathered himself and moved through a ravine to face the enemy with the remaining soldiers.helicopter

While the exchange of fire was going on, Capt. Vijyant, along with his platoon secured a foothold on Knoll. By this time, his company commander Major Padmapani Acharya had been killed. This further angered Capt. Vijyant and he surged ahead with his colleague Naik Tilak Singh. There were two enemy machine guns firing towards them. After about an hour and a half of fierce exchange of bullets, Capt. Vijyant moved ahead to kill the enemy. Suddenly, a burst of fire struck him on his head. He fell in the arms of his comrade Naik Tilak Singh and closed his eyes forever. The victory at Knoll on 29 June, 1999, is a saga of bravery unmatched, and unbounded grit and determination.

Capt. Vijyant was awarded India’s high military honour, the Vir Chakra by the President of India, for his acts of bravery during the Kargil War. In an exchange of mails, Capt. Vijyant Thapar’s father, Col. V. N. Thapar told NewsGram that he is grateful for the fact that the nation still continues to remember his son:

“Sixteen years after we lost our son in the Kargil war your mail was most thoughtful. Thanks. It is this support that has sustained us through these years. Young men like Vijyant did what the nation expected of them – their duty. Actually, the war at Kargil brought the best in the Indian nation – those like Capt. Vijyant, who fought bravely and fell honourably to redeem India’s sanctity and the countrymen who showered their love and their support for the brave hearts. We, of course, feel proud of what he has done, but losing a young son is painful and we go through it every day of our life.

Kargil is already a distant memory. We don’t want the legacy of the young men like Capt. Vijyant to fade and be lost to the coming generation of Indian, who have a right to know what their previous generation did and be inspired.”

kid-robin
Capt. Vijyant Thapar in his childhood days

Even as a child, the captain always thought about others more than himself. As a person, he was very warm hearted and considerate. He always wanted to be in the Army. His favourite toys were guns. He would wear his father’s peak cap, take his cane, and march around like an officer. At the age of four or five, he had already fired a pistol sitting in his dad’s embrace.

His brother, Tarun Thapar says, “Robin’s sacrifice has deeply moved us all. He will always remain in our hearts.”

During his training, Capt. Vijyant did very well and got the silver medal for standing second in the order of merit in the first term. He also got a Gold Medal in Water Polo. He was a very principled and disciplined person and nothing was more important to him than his nation, India.

At the age of 22 when life was still to come, he chose to battle with the enemy with utter disregard for his personal safety.

ima-swimmingMore 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 9
Kargil War Heroes – Part 10
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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“Yeh Dil Maange More!”..The Glorious Words Of Captain Vikram Batra

Captain Vikram Batra was one of the brave soldiers who laid down his life while serving the country

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Captain Vikram Batra was conferred Param Vir Chakra in 1999 for extraordinary act of courage. Wikimedia Commons
Captain Vikram Batra was conferred Param Vir Chakra in 1999 for extraordinary act of courage. Wikimedia Commons
  • The name of the Sher Shah or the Indian Army legend, Late Captain Vikram Batra can’t be forgotten
  • Many young Indian brave hearts of the army fought ferociously and died fearlessly in the Kargil war
  • During his college days, ‘Dimple Cheema’ was the Captain Vikram Batra’s girlfriend

“I’ll either come back after raising the Indian flag in victory or return wrapped in it, but I will come for sure.”

One of the Late Captain Vikram Batra’s quotes, that sums up the spirit of Bravehearts who fight at the border.

The Kargil war with Pakistan was something that truly revealed the zeal of Indian Army to protect the borders of its mother nation and so does the determination of the men wearing that olive green uniform. Captain Vikram Batra was one of the brave soldiers who laid down his life while serving the country. The name of the Sher Shah or the Indian Army legend, Late Captain Vikram Batra can’t be forgotten.  Every Indian know his name and about the life of this martyr. The unbelievable courage and the battlefield transcended heroism defines the solid character of Captain Vikram Batra.

It was July 26, 1999, when the Indian Armed Forces won a valiant and decisive war against Pakistan. Many brave young soldiers laid down their lives in the ferocious battle, defending their nation on the inhospitable battlefield of Kargil. With his exact spirit and attitude, Captain Vikram Batra kept motivating the men of his own battalion to keep fighting during the Kargil War.

Also Read: Rani Lakshmi Bai: The Dauntless Lady of Jhansi

It’s been almost nineteen years since then, but the unparalleled courage and sacrifice of Kargil heroes are still afresh in the memory of every India. Many young Indian brave hearts of the army fought ferociously and died fearlessly.

To honour the sacrifice of gallant soldier, a hall at Service Selection Centre Allahabad is named ‘Vikram Batra Block’. Wikimedia Commons
To honour the sacrifice of the gallant soldier, a hall at Service Selection Centre Allahabad is named ‘Vikram Batra Block’. Wikimedia Commons

Early life of Captain Vikram Batra

Captain Vikram Batra was born on September 9, 1974, in Himachal Pradesh. He spent his childhood in the beautiful mountain town of Palampur. His father, Girdhari Lal Batra was a government school teacher and principal. Interestingly, he was born as one of the twins. He was elder of twin sons as he was born 14 minutes before his brother Vishal.

Captain Vikram Batra was a brilliant student who was better known as an all-rounder at school. He was immensely popular among his classmates and teachers as he was also a keen sportsman and avid participant in co-curricular activities. He held a green belt holder in karate and played table tennis at the national level.

From the very beginning, he wanted to serve his country and hence he joined NCC (National Cadet Corps). Due to his diligence and determination, he was adjudged as the best NCC cadet of north India. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in 1995, he decided to prepare for Combined Defense Services (CDS) examination. It was no surprise to his family as Captain Vikram Batra was always keen on joining the Army.

Also Read: Maharana Pratap: The Warrior With Never Say Die Attitude

Captain Vikram Batra found his love in 1995 at Punjab University in Chandigarh. ‘Dimple Cheema’ was the Captain Vikram Batra’s girlfriend during his college days. They stayed together for almost four years. Both of them had planned to get married if Vikram Batra would have returned from Kargil, but as it turned out, he never did.

Former Presiden, honorable  K. R. Narayanan presenting the Param Vir Chakra posthumous to the father of Captain Vikram Batra 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. Wikimedia Commons
India’s former President, honourable K. R. Narayanan presenting the Param Vir Chakra posthumous to the father of Captain Vikram Batra 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Life facts of the Indian Army’s daredevil will fill your heart will patriotism and valour. Have a look at some of them:

  1. Captain Vikram Batra got his primary education from his mother, who herself was a teacher.
  2. As per the statement of the then Chief of the Army staff, captain Vikram Batra would have been the General of the Indian Army staff, had he returned from the Kargil war fought between India and Pakistan in the year 1999.
  3. Captain Vikram Batra was a soldier of the Indian Army and died in the Kargil war while rescuing an injured officer in an enemy counterattack.
  4. Captain Vikram Batra laid down his life when he was only 24 years-old. He died on July 7, 1999.
  5. Under the leadership of Captain Vikram Batra on June 19, 1999, the Indian army snatched point 5140, from right under the enemy’s nose.
  6. After successfully clinching the Point 5140, Captain Vikram Batra volunteered for the next mission to recapture point 4875. The terrain was very strenuous, as the location was 17,000 feet above the sea level and 80 degrees steep.
  7. In the early hours of July 7, 1999, Captain Vikram Batra was commanding a mission to rescue an injured officer during an enemy counterattack.
  8. According to the statements of his battalion, during the rescue attempt, Captain Vikram Batra pushed aside the injured officer saying, “You have children, step aside.”
  9. Unfortunately, Captain Vikram Batra was hit by a bullet on his chest and was killed in action while clearing enemy positions
  10. As a tribute to the soldiers of the Kargil war, the movie LOC was made in 2003. R Captain Vikram Batra’s role was played by Abhishek Bachchan.
  11. Captain Vikram Batra posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra (The highest gallantry medal awarded for displaying distinguished acts of valour during wartime).
  12. Captain Vikram Batra is well well known for coining the slogan “Yeh Dil Maange More!” He used it to signal the success of his mission.

To honour the sacrifice of gallant soldier, many constructions and cantonments have been named after him such as a hall at Service Selection Centre Allahabad is named ‘Vikram Batra Block’, a residential area in the Jabalpur Cantonment is called ‘Captain Vikram Batra Enclave’ and the combined cadet’s mess at the Indian Medical Association is named ‘Vikram Batra Mess’.