Army discovers equipment, ammunition and bunkers on a hill top while creating a trekking path for an expedition of the 13 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles. There is no known date of the escape of Pakistani troops from Point 4355

MUSHKOH: Nearly four weeks before the preparations for celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Kargil war began, the Indian Army discovered remnants of Pakistan Army equipment, ammunition and bunkers on a hill top in Dras, which appear to have been left in a hurry in the face of Indian onslaughts in 1999.

There have been no known sightings by the Indian Army of this site called Point 4355 (at about 14,500 feet elevation), which appears to have been held by the Pakistan Army for a few months in light of their immense preparations, such as equipment brought and bunkers built, there. Officials added that this could probably be the first time that such a site has been discovered in this sector, as the area was uncharted in view of the unexploded grenades and RPG (rocket propelled grenade) rounds not being known about and marked for the safety of Indian troops.

Officials explained that the Army was creating a trekking path for an expedition of the 13 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles (JAK RIF) to Batra Top when it discovered this site. The Army, as part of the Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations, on Sunday morning launched the 13 JAK RIF expedition to Batra Top, where an officer of the unit, Captain Vikram Batra, had died fighting against the Pakistan Army and was posthumously awarded the highest gallantry award, Param Vir Chakra, for his act. The Army chose the trekking path which passes along the Safed Nallah, ahead of Mushkoh Valley in Dras. It skirts Point 4355 and reaches atop Batra Top.

“It was during the creation of the trekking path when we discovered that Point 4355 has several unexploded Pakistani grenades and RPGs just strewn on the ground on the hill top. When we started climbing we even discovered Pakistani Medium Machine Gun (MMG) ammunition belts, indicating a hasty retreat in the face of Indian advance. At the top of the hill, we spotted Pakistani bunkers made of stone, some of which still had grenades left there,” explained an official.

ET visited Point 4355. There are about three bunkers, including a main one which is positioned towards the approach to the hill. A broken helmet lays in the main bunker. Adjacent to the bunkers are also small caves which would have housed Pakistani soldiers. Equipment for tentage was also found. Troops on the ground explained that the post would have accommodated around 20 to 30 Pakistani soldiers. “From their preparations and equipment, they would

Officials explained that it appears during the Army’s continuous advance towards Point 4355, the Pakistani troops vacated their post seeing the ferocity of the attack.

There is no known date of the escape of Pakistani troops from Point 4355. “Whoever escaped may not have survived,” said an official.

Indian Army has regularly found unexploded ammunition and ordnance in other battle sites such as Tiger Hill in Dras and Khalubar in Batalik. have come about two to three months before the war started in May,1999,” said an official.

During this visit, the Army had marked with stone the unexploded grenades and RPGs. The Army has passed strict instructions to not touch any of the ammunition and ordnance left by the Pakistan Army during the war. MMG ammunition belts were left on huge boulders. Food containers which were rusted were strewn all over the place. A snow boot without a pair was also found at the site. A food packet called ‘Instant Chicken Yakhni’, manufactured in Pakistan, was also found at the site. From the look of it, it appears that the Pakistani soldiers left in a hurry during an Indian counterattack.