21 years since India's Kargil war victory: Defence minister pays tributes at National War Memorial
New Delhi, July 26: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid tributes at the National War Memorial here on Sunday on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the country's victory over Pakistan in the Kargil war.
On July 26, 1999, the Indian Army had announced the successful culmination of "Operation Vijay", declaring victory after the nearly three-month-long battles in the icy heights of Kargil. The country lost more than 500 soldiers in the war. "I congratulate all Indian citizens on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas.
The sacrifices made by soldiers, which helped us win the Kargil war, will always be a source of inspiration for the armed forces," Singh told reporters.
Along with the defence minister, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General M M Naravane, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh also paid tributes at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the National War Memorial. The Kargil war was declared over on July 26, 1999, after Indian soldiers pushed back the Pakistani troops, a bulk of them drawn from the neighbouring country's Northern Light Infantry, from the captured peaks. The day is observed as "Kargil Vijay Diwas" to commemorate India's victory in the war.
The Indian and Chinese armies are locked in a bitter standoff at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for the last 10 weeks. The tension escalated manifold after 20 Indian soldiers were killed by the Chinese troops in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on June 15.
The Chinese side also suffered casualties, but is yet to give out the details. According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35.