Lieutenant (now Colonel) Balwan Singh and his Ghataks were tasked to assault Tiger Hill Top on the night of 03rd and 04th Jul 1999 as part of a multi-pronged attack from the North East direction.
The route to the objective was untrodden, interspersed with pointed rocks and heavy snow at a height of 16,500 feet. The officer executed the task assigned to him with an outstanding display of courage and determination.
The team led and exhorted by him moved for over twelve hours under Intense Artillery Shelling by the enemy to reach the designated location. This outflanking manoeuvre took the enemy totally by surprise as his team used Cliff Assault mountaineering equipment to reach the Tiger Hill Top, by stealth.
On seeing the Ghataks, the enemy retaliated in panic, with intense automatic fire, causing serious injury to the officer and his team.
Lieutenant Balwan Singh refused to be evacuated and unmindful of his injury and grave condition, moved swiftly to encircle the intruders. His adversaries had no choice but to flee under the fury of accurate fire by the Ghataks.
The officer’s unparalleled courage under enemy fire and determination led to the capture of Tiger Hill, which was one of the most important objectives of Operation Vijay. He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his gallant action during this battle.
Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, Param Vir Chakra, 18 GRENADIERS
Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav was part of the leading team of the Ghatak Platoon tasked to capture TigerHill Top on the night of 04thJul 1999. The approach to the Top, at a height of 16,500 feet, was steep, snow bound and rocky. He volunteered to lead the assault and fix a rope for the rest of his team to follow, unmindful of the risk involved. The Ghatak succeeded in spotting the enemy. On seeing his team reach the top, the enemy reacted violently and opened up an intense automatic machine gun, grenade and rocket fire. His team commander and two of his colleagues fell to this murderous hail of enemy fire. The further advance of the Ghatak Platoon was stalled. Realising the gravity of the situation, Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav crawled up to the enemy position to silence it and sustained multiple bullet injuries in the process. Disregarding his injuries and braving the thick volley of enemy bullets, he continued towards the enemy’s sangar and lobbed grenades inside, all the while firing from his rifle. He killed four Enemy Soldiers in close combat and silenced the automatic fire.
At this stage, the enemy launched a series of vicious counter attacks and in the ensuing hand to hand fight, some more Grenadiers made the supreme sacrifice. The counter attacks were successfully repulsed. Grenadier Yadav was hit in his left arm and right leg. Undeterred, he was seething with rage and had a burning desire to avenge the death of his comrades. He tied his belt to stabilise the left arm that was hanging uselessly and wrapped a bandana around his right leg and crawled to destroy yet another sangar. He again sustained multiple bullet injuries but refused to be evacuated even though he was in critical condition. Inspired by this fearless daredevilry, the rest of the Ghatak Platoon fell upon the enemy’s positions with vengeance and succeeded in finally capturing Tiger Hill Top, a high priority objective.
Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav’s indomitable spirit and supreme determination under extremely difficult circumstances was the stuff that legends are made of. For most conspicuous courage well beyond the call of duty, Grenadier Yadav was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the nation’s highest Gallantry Award.
Major Rajesh Adhikari, Mahavir Chakra, 18 GRENADIERS
On 30 May 1999, as a part of operations to capture the Tololing feature, Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari was given the tasks to secure an initial foothold for a battalion by capturing a strongly fortified forward #enemy position. The Pakistani Post was located in snow-covered terrain at a height of about 15,000 feet.
While Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari was leading his company towards the objective, his troops came under effective fire from UMGs from two mutually supporting positions. The officer immediately directed a Rocket launcher detachment to engage the enemy position and boldly rushed forward with a few men. He killed two enemy personnel in close quarter combat.
Thereafter, displaying rare presence of mind under heavy enemy fire, Major Adhikari ordered his MMG detachment to take position behind a big boulder to engage the enemy and provide fire support. The assault party continued to inch its way up against daunting odds. While fearlessly moving forward, Adhikari suffered grievous bullet injuries. However, he refused to be #evacuated and continued to direct the attack of his company. Disregarding his injuries, Adhikari made a superhuman effort and personally led a charge on another sangar and killed one more enemy soldier. He succeeded in capturing the second enemy position at Tololing, which later facilitated the capture of Point 4590. However, having completed his task by giving his battalion an initial foothold this brave officer succumbed to this injuries and attained martyrdom on the battlefield in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.
For his exceptional valour, well beyond the call of duty, outstanding leadership while facing a determined and well entrenched enemy and tenacity of purpose in the face of overwhelming odds, Major Rajesh Singh Adhikari was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra.
Major Vivek Gupta, Mahavir Chakra, 2 RR
Major Vivek Gupta was in command of the leading ‘C’ Company during the Attack on Tololing Top in the Drass subsector on the night of 12-13 Jun 1999.
Despite heavy artillery and withering automatic fire, under the inspiring leadership of Major Gupta, the company was able to close in with the #enemy. As soon as the company emerged in the open, they came under intense multi-directional fire. Major Gupta reacted immediately and fired a Rocket Launcher at the enemy position. Before the shocked enemy could recover, Major Gupta personally led a charge on the enemy position and was hit by two bullets. Despite the injuries sustained by him, he kept leading from the front and urged his men forward. On reaching the position he fearlessly engaged the enemy in fire and hand-to-hand combat and killed three Enemy Soldiers.
Taking inspiration from the gallant deeds of their leader, the rest of the company charged onto the enemy position and soon overran it. However, in the ensuing close quarter combat, Major Gupta was hit by another volley of enemy bullets and made the supreme sacrifice on Tololing Top with Victory at his feet.
For conspicuous gallantry and inspiring leadership in the face of overwhelming odds, despite grave injuries Major Vivek Gupta was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra.