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The day India won back Tiger Hill

One story of valour that stood out among the many inspiring tales of bravery displayed by the Indian Army during the Kargil War was the recapture of Tiger Hill.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Much water has flown down the Indus since 1999, however, the Kargil victory remains etched in the psyche of our nation. One story of valour that stood out among the many inspiring tales of bravery displayed by the Indian Army, was the recapture of Tiger Hill.

With sharp conical features, Tiger Hill stands among the mountain tops a few kilometres north of Drass. Its recapture was critical as the feature dominates the National Highway A1 (NHA1 and was used by the Pakistani troops to shell Indian convoys moving towards Kargil and Leh with supplies for Siachen and the whole of Ladakh region.

Around 200 men from three regiments -- 18 Grenadiers, 2 Naga and 8 Sikh -- began the assault at 5:15 pm on July 3, with artillery guns shelling the Pakistani positions to provide cover to the Indian troops. While the Alpha, Charlie, and Ghatak companies of the Grenadiers attacked from the rear, the Nagas were on the left flank, and the Sikhs on the right. Such was the determination of the Indians soldiers that most of them gave up their rations to carry extra ammunition.

By next morning, they evicted the Pakistani troops belonging to 12 Northern Light Infantry, Special Forces, Engineers and Artillery from the feature. At 6.50 am on July 4, Indian soldiers unfurled the tricolour on Tiger Hill peak, ending 36 hours of battle that changed the course of Kargil war, finally leading India to victory on July 26, 1999.

The Indian Army suffered heavy casualities in its bid to capture the strategic peak. After the operations, Havaldar Yogendra Yadav from 18 Grenadiers was awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his exceptional display of gallantry in the intense battle for the peak.

After the Kargil triumph, the picture of Indian troops having captured the Tiger Hill became the symbol of the Indian victory in the war.

Today is the 14th anniversary of Tiger Hill victory. Lest we forget...