The memories of 26 July 1999 are still very much alive for the people of the country. It was the day when India won the Kargil war. The victory seemed to be impossible to achieve but the Indian soldiers did their best to turn the impossible into possible.
18 Grenadiers, 2 Naga, and 8 Sikh Regiment were involved in the final assault on Tiger Hill. The capture of Tiger Hill signaled India’s victory in the two-month long war between India and Pakistan over the icy heights of Kargil.
Kargil war was the fourth war that had been fought between the Indo-Pak since independence. The war was initiated by the Pakistani army in the Kargil sector. Pakistani army took the advantage of the terrain and climatic conditions to enter the Indian border and capture the Tiger hill. But Indian army juggernaut got successful in making the plan of Pakistan unsuccessful. Pakistan failed at the operational and strategic levels.
Therefore, India declared successful completion of Operation Vijay on 26 July 1999. The Kargil Vijay Diwas is observed to remember the selfless courage, unshakable devotion to duty and high professionalism of Indian soldiers under adverse conditions.
The 18 Grenadiers formed a Commando called ‘Ghatak’ platoon which was tasked to capture three strategic bunkers on Tiger Hill. ‘Ghatak’ platoon was led by Grenadier Yogender Singh Yadav.
The first target's approach was a vertical cliff face, snowbound at 16,500 feet. Grenadier Yadav volunteered to lead the assault. Half-way up, an enemy bunker opened up machine gun and rocket fire.
His Platoon Commander and 2 others fell to the heavy volume of automatic fire. Realising the enormity of the situation, he continued to scale the sheer cliff face alone through a volley of fire. In spite of having been hit by three bullets in his groin and shoulder, displaying superhuman strength and resolve, he climbed the remaining 60 feet, all by himself and reached the top. With rare grit and courage, he crawled up to the bunker critically injured and lobbed a grenade killing four Pakistani soldiers and neutralising enemy fire. This act was directly instrumental in facilitating the rest of the platoon in climbing up the cliff face.
Being injured Grenadier Yadav did not stop himself. He further moved towards the another bunker and neutralised it, with two of his colleagues in an extremely fierce hand-to-hand combat, killing three Pakistani soldiers. Their brave step motivated the rest of the soldiers which quickly traversed the treacherous terrain and braved hostile fire. This step made them to attack on the enemies and to capture the Tiger Hill which was their vital objective. They all put their lives in danger to win the hill by defeating their enemy. Later, Grenadier Yogender Singh Yadav was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest medal for gallantry.