Families of Kargil martyrs prevented from paying homage in Hyderabad

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Hyderabad, July 26 (ANI): While the country paid homage to the martyrs of the Kargil War on Sunday, their family members of the war heroes, who laid down their lives fighting the Pakistani Army, were prevented from paying their tributes at the war memorial here.

The disheartened family members protested and staged a sit-on outside the war memorial premise and demanded a separate piece of land to build war memorial.

The protestors, comprising about 50 to 60 army personnel including family members, claimed that they had gone to pay homage to the Kargil martyrs, but were prevented from going to the war memorial.

"We have gathered here to observe the Kargil Vijay Diwas (Kargil Victory Day) and pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives in the war. We have been marking the 'Vijay Diwas' for 10 years. We come here at the war memorial to pay homage to the martyrs. But for the past two years the authorities are not letting us go near the memorial to pay our homage," said Rajan, one of the protestors.

The protestors were disappointed at authorities' apathy. The family members have been demanding for a permanent place to build a memorial for the Kargil martyrs but it has been of no avail so far.

"We are very sad. We are sitting outside the memorial. Army personnel work so hard but we don't get good treatment once we retire from the service. Everyone is sitting here since morning. We all are upset about it. It's been 10 years since we are demanding a piece of 150 yards to build a memorial for the martyrs. But it's been of no use," said Sheikh Bibijaan, another protestor.

On July 26, 1999 the Indian armed forces defeated the Pakistani Army at the heights of Batalik, Kargil and Drass sectors in Jammu and Kashmir State.

Nearly 500 Indian soldiers died on the snow-capped peaks of Kargil in the campaign to oust hundreds of infiltrators from Pakistan in the summer of 1999.

The face-off in the Kargil mountains nearly brought nuclear-capable India and Pakistan to the brink of their fourth full-scale war.

India saw the fighting in the Kargil sector of Kashmir as an undeclared war with Pakistan. Pakistan denied any involvement in the intrusion saying Kashmiri militants had occupied the heights.

The Indian defence forces-the Army backed by Air Force fighter aircrafts, evicted the intruders from the icy heights. By Ranjeet(ANI)

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