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Rajnath hails Kargil heroes; says their supreme sacrifice ensured safety, sanctity of our borders

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: July 26, 2019  | 20:03 IST

(Eds: Adds statement from Army) New Delhi, Jul 26 (PTI) Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas on Friday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid tribute to the heroes who fought tough battles during the conflict, saying their unwavering courage and supreme sacrifice ensured the safety and sanctity of the country's borders. The Union minister, along with his deputy Shripad Yesso Naik, and the vice chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force -- Lt Gen Devraj Anbu, Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar and Air Force Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria -- paid homage to the martyrs at the National War Memorial in the India Gate complex here. "Paid homage to martyred soldiers at the National War Memorial in New Delhi on the occasion of 20th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas. Their unwavering courage and supreme sacrifice ensured the safety and sanctity of our borders," Singh tweeted. It was on July 26, 1999, dubbed 'Kargil Vijay Diwas', that Indian armed forces had declared a win in the Kargil conflict against Pakistan after the neighbouring country's infiltration. The India Army responded to the intrusion with Operation Vijay -- the name given to India's limited war against Pakistan in 1999, fighting battles on icy heights of Kargil. In the Lok Sabha, the defence minister said Pakistan can neither fight a full-fledged nor a limited war with India and is waging a proxy war. He was speaking in Parliament on the 20th anniversary of the Kargil conflict as it paid tributes to Indian soldiers who drove out enemy forces and reclaimed Kargil heights. Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa and Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh also paid tributes by laying wreaths at the Kargil War Memorial in Dras in Jammu and Kashmir. After paying homage at the National War Memorial, the defence minister also wrote a message in the visitors' book. "Homage to the brave soldiers of Kargil War who laid down their lives for the honour, prestige and pride of India. Their valour and sacrifice are a motivation for every Indian. "On 20th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, we take a pledge that the grateful nation will never forget the supreme sacrifice the soldiers made for the country's honour," he wrote. The Indo-Pak Kargil War was fought during May-July 1999 in the toughest terrain along the Line of Control (LoC) from ZojiLa in the west to Turtok in the east, the Army said in a statement. "The conflict was engineered by Pakistan by infiltrating its troops, occupying vacated dominating heights, overlooking and threatening national highway, besides violating the territorial integrity of the nation," it said. Soldiers of the Indian Army, displaying utmost fortitude and resilience, fought legendary battles in Dras, Kaksar, Batalik and Turtok sectors at heights above 12,000 feet and evicted the Pakistani intruders. The Indian Air Force also contributed significantly and supported the Army operations. PTI KND ANB ANB

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