Delhi

Residents throng city mall to observe Kargil Diwas, pay tributes to martyrs

Shopping centre organises series of events to mark the day; families of bravehearts share memories of their loved ones

To commemorate 20 years of the Kargil War (1999), several Delhiites gathered at an event organised at Select Citywalk in Saket here to pay tribute to the martyrs and their families as part of Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations.

A series of events was organised that included an Army Band Display by the Gorkha Rifles, movie screening, felicitation of Inder Sharma Kargil awards for academic excellence, Gatka performance by Daler Khalsa Group.

Attending the event, were family members of several martyrs. Army veteran Col. V.N. Thapar speaking about his son Captain Vijayant Thapar from 2 Rajputana Rifles who was martyred in the war said, “I spent 37 years in the Army, my father was also in the Army and my grandfather was also in the Army, so the normal kind of apprehension which a civilian has, we don’t have. It might be glorifying for you all, for the civilians, but we know what damage it can cause.”

No communication

“As far as Vijayant is concerned, we never came to know that he had left for the battle because there were no communications. I was in Alwar and Vijayant’s mother was in Noida. One day, she called me and said that Vijayant was in Kargil where the war is going on,” he said.

“Vijayant Thapar’s last letter is for every Indian. His presence and spirit is always there, we don’t think that he is not there, most of our activities are rotating around him,” Col. V.N Thapar said.

“At that time, there were no mobile phones. Only satellite phones were there. Since February that year, he [Vijayant] spoke to me from Kargil four times in four months, we came to know about the war through newspaper,” said Ms. Tripta Thapar, mother of Captain Vijayant Thapar.

Sapna Roy, mother of another martyr Captain Sumit Roy from the 18th Garhwal Rifles, said, “He captured Point 4,700 in the Kargil war. He died on July 3, 1999.”

She said, “On June 26, he called me and said that he had been recommended for the Gallantry award for capturing Point 4700 and Point 5140. We did not know anything about the war. After June 26, 1999, I came to know that something was wrong because news telecast the names of the Army officers who were killed in the Kargil war. One day suddenly we found Sumit’s name. In those days there was no media and we had a telephone system and STD calls also had to be booked. Nobody told us about the war. On July 3, the phone rang and an adjutant broke the news that Sumit was killed last night, my husband could not take the news. He suffered from mental trauma and could not survive for a long time. He died within five years.”

Vivid memories

Still fresh in his mind, Major Ashok Sharma, a war veteran, shared his experience from the war.

“This 20 years post Kargil, it was something of an experience, something like after winning a World Cup, you are enjoying the victory part. In the Kargil war there were more than 600-700 people who never returned home, they don’t even know whether we won or lost the Kargil war. I suffered a spinal injury while fighting the war. I had to leave the Army when I was 30 years because of the injury.”

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 6:03:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/residents-throng-city-mall-to-observe-kargil-diwas-pay-tributes-to-martyrs/article28665070.ece

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