Captain Vikram Batra

On July 26, 1999 the Indian Armed Forces won a gritty battle against Pakistan. Born on September 9, 1974, Captain Vikram Batra spent his childhood in Palampur.

His unit was ordered to recapture Point 5140 in his first major battle in the war. Despite the fact that the enemy had the higher ground, he led his men to a brilliant tactical assault on the enemy.

The 13 J&K Rifles won a decisive victory which strengthened India’s hold on the territory and he was immortalised when he reportedly told his commander: “Yeh dil maange more.” His next operation was to capture the 17000-feet high Point 4875, a tough challenge made harder by the steep slopes and chilly temperature.

On the fateful night, after shocking the enemy to retreat, he went to rescue a junior officer who had injured his legs in an explosion. Even though he took out five enemies with a grenade a bullet hit him on the chest.

He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra. His citation read:

During ‘Operation Vijay’, on 20 June 1999, Captain Vikram Batra, Commander Delta Company was tasked to attack Point 5140. Captain Batra with his company skirted around the feature from the East and maintaining surprise reached within assaulting distance of the enemy. Captain Batra reorganised his column and motivated his men to physically assault the enemy positions. Leading from the front, he in a daredevil assault, pounced on the enemy and killed four of them in a hand-to hand fight.

On 7 July 1999, in another operation in the area Pt 4875, his company was tasked to clear a narrow feature with sharp cuttings on either side and heavily fortified enemy defences that covered the only approach to it. For speedy operation, Captain Batra assaulted the enemy position along a narrow ridge and engaged the enemy in a fierce hand –to-hand fight and killed five enemy soldiers at point blank range. Despite sustaining grave injuries, he crawled towards the enemy and hurled grenades clearing the position with utter disregard to his personal safety, leading from the front, he rallied his men and pressed on the attack and achieved a near impossible military task in the face of heavy enemy fire. The officer, however, succumbed to his injuries. Inspired by his daredevil act, his troops fell upon the enemy with vengeance, annihilated them and captured Point 4875.

Captain Vikram Batra, thus, displayed the most conspicuous personal bravery and leadership of the highest order in the face of the enemy and made the supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.”