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Naik Digendra Kumar: Denied war benefits by Army and the State Govt.

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article-2393712-1B4C0473000005DC-599_306x423By Ila Garg

Kargil War Heroes – Part 13

Born on 3 July 1969, Naik Digendra Kumar belonged to the 2nd Battalion of the Rajputana Rifles regiment of the Indian Army. He is also a recipient of Maha Vir Chakra, Sena Medal and many other medals for his exemplary valor. He was one of the best commandoes of his time in the Indian Army. He had acquired the skill to hit a target on the basis of only sound.

After completing his training, he was posted at Jammu & Kashmir. He was sent to Sri Lanka for ‘Operation Pawan’ in Indian Peace Keeping Force in 1987 where his bravery was widely appreciated.

The sad part is that despite his grit and determination, he was denied war benefits. At first, the Army denied him the disability benefits which he is entitled to after being classified as 80 per cent disabled by an Indian Army medical board. It took the Army almost 2 years to finally give him the benefits that he deserved. However, as a Kargil veteran, he is entitled to extra-gratia benefits which are still denied to him. That’s not all. Even the state government isn’t concerned about this valiant commando who risked his life at the borders. The govt. was to allot an agricultural land to him for being a gallantry award winner but they have marked out the prize at a location almost 500 km from his Sikar home. Also, the Army refused to give him his disability pension saying that he “retired voluntarily”.

When the Kargil war was on, Naik Digendra Kumar was commander of the Light Machine Gun Group during his company’s assault on Tololing hill in Drass Sector. Their objective was to capture the fortified enemy post which was located at an altitude of over 15000 feet.

On 10 June 1999, there was deadly silence in the hills except the sound of the blasts. There was snow and snow all around. They knew that probably they won’t get back alive. It was a dangerous mission after all. But they remained undeterred and readily risked their lives for the nation.article-2393712-1B4C0933000005DC-12_306x339

After 14 hours of hard labour, they reached the top of Tololing. Pakistani army had 11 bunkers on the Tololing hill top. Digendra Kumar was to target first and the last bunkers. Rest of the battalion targeted the remaining 9 bunker.

On 13 June 1999, the bombardment at Tololing led to heavy casualties. Naik Digendra Kumar too was hit by a bullet in his left arm. He remained undaunted and kept firing with one hand and brought down effective and accurate Light Machine Gun fire on the enemy. He then gave an effective covering fire, while his own troops attacked the enemy position. Despite being seriously wounded, he kept his platoon motivated. At last, the task was accomplished due to his efforts.

The role of Naik Digendra Kumar in the Kargil conflict was very crucial. With great difficulty, Digendra Kumar put the Indian tri-colour flag on 13 June 1999 at four o’clock in the morning.

The Indian Army reached Tololing peak in the early hours of morning and found heaps of dead soldiers. The Indian tri-colour flag was hoisted and Digendra Kumar lied besides it in an unconscious state. He had the head of Major Anwar Khan of the Pakistan Army in his hand. Digendra Kumar was then carried to Military Hospital. He thus was awarded MVC at the age of 30 for his courage in Kargil war.

400px-Tololing1Such brave soldiers should be respected and loved. The nation is proud of their efforts. But is the government listening?

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 10
Kargil War Heroes – Part 11
Kargil War Heroes – Part 12
Kargil War Heroes – Part 14
Kargil War Heroes – Part 15

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This Summer Visit 5 Most Incredible Places In Leh With Your Family And Friends

Check out a Leh Ladakh package for couple

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5 Incredible Must Visited Places In Leh
5 Incredible Must Visited Places In Leh, Flickr

Leh is a Himalayan village that expands over 45100 sq.kms. in the Jammu & Kashmir state of India. The expanse of the village is covered by three parallel mountain ranges, namely the Zanskar, Karakoram and the Ladakh ranges. Between these ranges flow three prominent rivers – Indus, Shyok and Zanskar. The valleys of these rivers are where the communities of Leh live in. Once a capital that housed the Royal family of Ladakh, Leh is now one of the prominent tourist attractions in India. It lies around 3500 metres above sea level, with a climate that is often paralleled to that of a cold desert. Being mountainous with the snow covered stretches, it is the most beautiful summer vacation spot in the North of India. If planning a vacation with your partner, you can check out a Leh Ladakh package for couple and enjoy a great trip without any hassle.

The Old Town of Leh was added to the World Monuments Fund’s list of the 100 most endangered sites due to climate change. The roads to Leh get blocked multiple times every year by snowfalls.

Snow-capped peaks and flowery valleys are the natural beauty of Leh, while colourful flags around the place lure in the most adventurous of travellers from all around the world. A trip to Leh is truly a getaway from the hustle and bustle of cities and into the wild isolation and peace that these mountain tops offer. It is perfect for those who are on a soul-searching journey or simply looking for a break from everyday life. Here are five destinations in Leh which you shouldn’t miss out when you are vacationing there. They account for the whole unique experience of Leh and Ladakh.

Khardung-la pass
Khardung-la pass, Flickr

 

  • Khardung-la Pass

 

Leh is snow covered during most parts of the year. It lies in the shadows of the great Himalayas. The Khardung La pass in Leh is one of the highest motorable roads in the world. It offers mesmerising views of the whole Leh Valley from a height of around 5359 metres above sea level. Surrounded by mountains, the road was opened in 1988 and is maintained by the Indian Army. The Kahrdung La pass is a gateway to two of the magnificent valleys in Leh – the Nubra Valley and the Shyok Valley. It is also a gateway to the famous Siachen glacier, one of the coldest places on Earth where entry is restricted to people due to its strategic prominence. It attracts tourists for the dangerous and exciting drive the pass offers. The most adrenaline driven of the riders go all the way up to the pass on motorcycles. The pass is mostly covered in snow, and it is not easy to be traversed at every time of the year.

Bike rider at Pangong lake
Bike rider at Pangong lake, pixabay

 

  • Pangong Lake

Pangong-Tso is the Tibetan name for the high grassland lake. Situated at an altitude of 4350 metres, it is 134 km long lake that extends to over both Indian and Tibetan Chinese lands. During winters it freezes completely, despite being saline in nature. Thus, the best time to visit the lake is during the summer when the waters are cool but flowing. It is home and breeding ground to a number of migratory birds such as the Bar-headed goose and the Black-necked cranes, seagulls and Brahmini ducks.

Pangong is an endorheic lake. It means that the lake does not flow out into rivers or oceans. Rather it forms a vast closed in water body which spreads over around 600 sq.kms. The lake is situated at a five-hour distance from the town of Leh. The journey itself can be a mesmerising experience for the travellers. You drive over the Chang La pass to get the first view of the shining waters that seem to stretch out limitlessly before you. It is a paradise for photography lovers. One of the most alluring things about the Pangong Lake is that it keeps changing colours. Adventure lovers also have the option to camp overnight along the shores of the lake.

Magnetic hills
Magnetic hills, flickr

 

  • Magnetic Hill

 

The Magnetic Hill or the Gravity Hill is located at a distance of 30 km distance from Leh.  It is a stretch of road in the Leh-Kargil Highway which is known to have magnetic properties that can pull cars uphill. However, in reality, the effect is an optical illusion. Stationary vehicles get pulled up in this part of the Highway. Warning boards placed along the road tell you what to do once you get closer to the road. The vehicle should be put in a neutral gear as you stop by the hill and then on you can move only at a speed of 20km per hour.

The hill lies at an altitude of 14,000 feet from the sea level in the Trans-Himalayan region. The river Sindhu flows along the Eastern side of the Magnetic Hills. The view thus provided by nature is nothing short of spell-binding.

Nubra Valley
Nubra Valley, flickr

 

  • Nubra Valley

 

The Nubra Valley in Leh is formed at the meeting point of the Shyok and the Siachen river. It separates Ladakh and the Karakoram ranges and lies at an altitude of 10,000 ft above sea level. The valley can be accessed through the Khardung La pass. The region is highly protected and requires special permits to be visited, for both Indian and Foreign nationals. The town of Diskit in Nubra Valley has 32 metres high Maitreya Buddha statue. The Diskit Buddhist monastery was built in AD 1420. The remote village of Hundar in Nubra Valley is the geographical border of India. It is restricted to tourists since 2010. Hundar is known for the dunes amidst the Himalayan ranges, where camels are seen to graze. The extremes of nature thus meet in the Nubra Valley.

Kargil
Kargil, flickr

 

  • Kargil

 

A historically significant place, Kargil is a land with great stories to tell, prominent of which is the Kargil war of 1999. It also happens to be the second largest town in Leh. The Central Asian Museum of Leh is located in the Kargil Valley. It offers a closer look at the history of the land, both ancient and modern. From the Museum, you can also enjoy the scenic beauty of the deep river valley of Kargil.

Also read: Manali-Leh reopens for motorists

Now that you are done reading, take your loved one on a journey to this magical land. Get a Leh Ladakh package for couple today and start packing! (IANS)