Emotional tributes to heroes of Kargil conflict

Drass/ Kargil (JK): Tears rolled down the faces of family members of the fallen soldiers of Kargil war at the sight of memorials unveiled on Saturday for their loved ones who helped trounce the Pakistani army 10 years ago while colleagues and superiors paid emotional tributes to the heroes.

"Looking at the faces of the brave soldiers, kins of martyrs and awardees, I wonder what these heroes are made of?... They are examples of patriotism," former army chief V P Malik, who commanded the force during the Kargil conflict, said while dedicating a war memorial gallery in Drass named after Paramvir Chakra awardee Capt Manoj Panday.

Captain Manoj Pandey was involved in recapturing Khalobar ridgeline, one of the most dominant positions captured by the Pakistani troops in Kargil sector.He died on July 3, 1999 in this sector.

"He is my hero as well as the nation's hero. I had come here to pray at the place where my brother sacrificed his life. This place is a temple for me," the captain's brother Manmohan Pandey, who was accompanied by his mother, said.

Kargil, a ghost town during the war, was today abuzz with stories of valour and courage of Indian soldiers who took part in 'Operation Vijay' as their famillies descended here to take part in two-day celebrations to mark the victory.

"It was a dream for us to visit the holy place and pray for our son," Neiselie Kenguriise, father of Captain Neikezhakuo Kenguriise who sacrificed his life when he led a platoon to re-capture Tololing, said.

As they took a glimpse of Tololing ridgeline, tears welled in the eyes of Neiselie, his wife Dinuo and daughter.

Bureau Report