India celebrates Kargil Vijay Diwas on 26th July to commemorate the triumph of the Indian Armed Forces over the Pakistani intruders in 1999. The Indian military personnel are celebrating the 20th anniversary of ‘Operation Vijay’ with much patriotism at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate, New Delhi, and Dras in the Kargil Sector. The day is devoted to all the martyred Indian soldiers of the unforgettable Kargil war which began on 3rd May 1999 and ended on 26th July 1999, with the victory of the Indian Armed Forces.
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The Kargil War, also known as the Kargil conflict, took place at the Kargil sector in Kashmir. The soldiers of the Pakistani Northern Infantry disguised as terrorists, took up positions in the high altitude terrain on the Indian side of the LOC, with the intention of keeping an eye on National Highway-1A which connects Jammu with the Kashmir valley and subsequently cutting off the Kashmir valley from the rest of India.
It was easy for the Pakistani soldiers to shell Indian positions as they held superior positions owing to the altitude.
More than 500 Indian soldiers were martyred and over 1,500 were injured before the intruders were evicted. More than 450 Pakistani soldiers lost their lives in the Kargil War according to official statements from Pakistan. Unofficially the death toll is in excess of 4000.
The Pakistani soldiers disguised as terrorists crossed the Line of Control and occupied strategic peaks. They took over Tololing Heights, Tiger Hill and Point 4875 (Batra Top) which overlooked the Srinagar-Leh National Highway. They could easily target all traffic on the highway. Pakistani intruders crossed the LOC and occupied 130 winter-vacated Indian posts.
Local shepherds warned the Indian army that militants and Pakistanis had been spotted in Kargil. Indian soldiers assumed they were just a couple of Kashmiri separatists and said they would be evicted at the earliest. They soon realized this was a much bigger operation and an attack on a much larger scale.
More than 2 Lakh Indian soldiers were sent to reclaim the strategic positions. The Indian Army launched Operation Vijay in May 1999 and evicted the Pakistani intruders after a fierce battle. This is one of the toughest battles ever fought in high altitude mountainous terrain.
The defence outlay was Rs 35,620 Crores for 1997-1998. (This is peace time). The defence outlay was Rs 39,897 Crores for 1998-1999.
Now, take a look at the wartime costs. It jumped to a massive Rs 47,071 Crores for 1999-2000. This is an 18% hike from the previous year.
Now, take a look at the year 2000-2001. It was a whopping Rs 54,461 Crores. This was a 16% jump from the previous year. The total war time spending was Rs 14,564 Crores. This is a 36% hike in just 2 years.
The daily cost of Operation Vijay was a massive Rs 20 Crores. Operation Vijay cost India a massive Rs 1,800 Crores.
India lost 527 defence forces personnel and 1,363 defence personnel were injured. India also lost a Mi-17 Helicopter a MIG 21 and a MIG 27 fighter jet.
According to official sources, 300 Pakistani officers and terrorists were killed. Unofficially more than 4,000 soldiers and terrorists were killed.
Pakistan spent 5.19% of its GDP on defence in 1999. Pakistan’s GDP was $82,514 Million in 1999. While the exact figure of Pakistan’s losses both economically and in lives at Kargil will never be known, it’s safe to say it’s much more than the losses on the Indian side.
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