Captain Anuj Nayyar, a young officer in the 17 Jat Regiment, had his first major operation involving securing of Point 4875, also known as Pimple II, a strategic mountain peak on the western side of #TigerHill, which was occupied by Pakistan Infiltrators.
Due to it’s strategic location, securing Point 4875 was a top priority for the #IndianArmy. The peak, which stood at 15,990 feet above sea level, had extremely steep slopes and capturing the peak without Air support was considered near impossible. In a last-ditch attempt, Nayyar’s Charlie Company decided to secure the peak without waiting for any aerial support on Jul 6, 1999.
During the initial phase of assault on Point 4875, the Company Commander of the platoon was injured. After the initial setback, the assault team split into two groups, one led by Captain Vikram Batra and other by Capt Nayyar. The Pakistani infiltrators had constructed several bunkers on Pt 4875. Nayyar’s company, which consisted of seven personnel, located four Enemy bunkers. The company began to ascend Point 4875 and came under heavy Artillery and Mortar Fire from Pakistani infiltrators. However, the team Counter Attacked, which led to hand-to-hand combat, which forced the Pakistani Soldiers to retreat. During the battle, Nayyar killed nine Pakistani soldiers and destroyed three medium machine gun bunkers.
Under Captain Nayyar’s leadership, the company had successfully cleared three of the four bunkers and began it’s assault on the last remaining bunker. While clearing the fourth bunker, an Enemy Rocket propelled grenade fell directly on Nayyar. Despite being grievously injured, Nayyar continued to lead the remaining men in his company. He succumbed to his injuries, but not before clearing the last bunker on Point 4875.
None of the soldiers from Nayyar’s team of Charlie Company survived the battle. Two days after Point 4875 was secured, it was counter-attacked by Pakistani infiltrators during which the second team of the Charlie Company, led by Captain Batra, successfully defended the peak. During the entire battle for the Pimple complex area 46 regular members of Pakistani Army, an unknown number of Pakistani Para military Troopers & Militants, 11 Indian Army men including Captain Nayyar and Captain Batra were martyred. The securing of the Pimple Complex area paved the way for the recapture of Tiger Hill which finally forced Pakistan to retreat its forces to pre-conflict positions. Capt Nayyar was posthumously awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his gallantry during the operation.
Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey took part in a series of boldly led attacks during Operation Vijay, forcing back the intruders with heavy losses in Batalik including the capture of Jubar Top. On the night of 2/3 Jul 1999 during the advance to Khalubar as his platoon approached its final objective, it came under heavy and intense Enemy fire from the surrounding heights. Lieutenant Pandey was tasked to clear the interfering enemy positions to prevent his battalion from getting day lighted, being in a vulnerable position. He quickly moved his platoon to an advantageous position under intense enemy fire, sent one section to clear the enemy positions from the right and himself proceeded to clear the enemy positions from the left.
Fearlessly assaulting the first enemy position, he killed two enemy personnel and destroyed the second position by killing two more. He was injured on the shoulder and legs while clearing the third position. Undaunted and without caring for his grievous injuries, he continued to lead the assault on the fourth position urging his men and destroyed the same with a Grenade, even as he got a fatal burst on his forehead. This singular Daredevil Act of Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey provided the critical firm base for the companies, which finally led to capture of Khalubar. The officer, however, succumbed to his injuries.
Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey, displayed the most conspicuous bravery, indomitable courage, outstanding leadership and devotion to duty and made the supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra Posthumously for his gallant action during this battle.
On the night of 28 June 1999, Captain Neikezhakuo Kenguruse, 2 Rajputana Rifles was the Ghatak Platoon commander during the attack on area Black Rock’ in the icy heights of Drass Sector. Without thinking of his own safety, he volunteered to undertake a daring commando mission which involved attacking an enemy Machine Gun position on a cliff face. As the commando team scaled the cliff, they came under intense mortar and automatic fire, which caused heavy casualties.
On reaching the final cliff face, the commando team was halted by a sheer rock wall that separated them from the enemy machine gun post. At a height of 16,000 feet and a temperature of Minus 10 degrees, Captain Kenguruse kicked off his shoes and somehow climbed up while carrying with him a Rocket Launcher with which he fired at the enemy position. The brave officer sustained splinter injury in his abdomen during this assault. Bleeding profusely yet undeterred, he urged his men to carry on with the assault.
He emerged as a true inspiration for his platoon when despite the hurdles; he charged at the enemy position and personally killed two men with his rifle and another two with his commando knife in a hand-to-hand combat, before succumbing to his injury. It was then that a bullet hit him, but before falling off the cliff, he had done enough damage to the enemy and proved his mettle.
His troops went on to capture the objective. When the mission was accomplished, they dedicated the Victory to Nimbu Sahab’. His daredevil act remains a beacon of motivation for his troops as well as the whole nation.
In his last letter to his father, he wrote “I may not be able to return home to be a part of our family again. Even if I don’t make it, do not grieve for me because I have already decided to give my best for the nation.”
Major Sonam Wangchuk, Mahavir Chakra, Ladakh Scouts
On 30 May 1999, Major Sonam Wangchuk was leading a column of The Indus Wing, Ladakh Scouts as part of an ongoing operation in Operation Vijay in the Batalik Sector. The column was tasked to occupy a Ridge Line on the Line of Control, in a glaciated area, at a height of about 5,500 metres. This was essential to pre-empt its occupation by the enemy and any subsequent infiltration.
While moving towards the LOC, the enemy ambushed the column by firing from a vantage position. In the process, one Non Commissioned Officer of Ladakh Scouts was killed. Major Sonam Wangchuk held his column together and in a daring counter ambush, led a raid on the enemy position from a flank, killing two #EnemySoldiers. The officer also recovered one heavy machine gun and one Universal Machine Gun, ammunition, war like stores and three dead bodies of the enemy.
Thereafter, the officer took stock of all forces along the Chorbat La axis in the Batalik Sector and cleared the axis up to the Line of Control, of all enemy intrusions at great risk to his life.
Major Sonam Wangchuk displayed exceptional bravery and gallantry of the highest order in the presence of enemy fire and in extreme climatic conditions in the glaciated area and was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra.