Na­tion com­mem­o­rates val­our of Indian sol­diers in Kargil

The Northlines - - JAMMU - NL Cor­re­spon­dent

12 Jammu and Kash­mir Light In­fantry (JAK LI) was in­ducted into Yal­dor sub sec­tor in May 1999. It was tasked to drive a wedge be­tween the en­emy's de­fences on Point 5203 and those on the Khalubar Ridge, which were sep­a­rated by the Junk Lungpa (Lungpa trans­lates as stream from Ladakhi). The Bat­tal­ion in­ducted through the Junk Lungpa at night un­der the very nose of the en­emy. Con­se­quently, heavy ar­tillery and ma­chine gun was di­rected upon them. On 01 Jun, the Bat­tal­ion cap­tured Point 5390, which was there­after uti­lized to bring down ar­tillery fire onto en­emy de­fences, which caused mas­sive dam­age to his po­si­tions.

On 07 June 1999, 12 JAK LI and 5 PARA launched their at­tack. By morn­ing of 08 June, they had reached within strik­ing dis­tance of the en­emy's po­si­tion, where they lay qui­etly through­out the day. In the evening, the en­emy launched coun­ter­at­tacks just as our forces were about to launch their as­sault. 12 JAK LI lost Cap­tain Amol Kalia in a valiant ac­tion to beat back the en­emy's second coun­ter­at­tack. On that fate­ful night, 13 brave hearts of 12 JAK LI made the supreme sac­ri­fice, beat­ing back coun­ter­at­tack after coun­ter­at­tack launched from well pre­pared de­fences by the en­emy. Cap­tain Amol Kalia, Sube­dar Ba­hadur Singh and Lance Naik Ghu­lam Mo­ham­mad Khan were awarded Veer Chakra (Post­hu­mous) for their acts of brav­ery that night.

For 12 days, the troops held on to their ten­u­ous de­fences un­der fire. Fi­nally, on 20 June, a mul­ti­di­rec­tional at­tack was launched on the fea­ture by one com­pany of 5 PARA and two com­pa­nies of Karako­ram Wing Ladakh Scouts, which suc­ceeded in mak­ing the en­emy aban­don their de­fences and run for their lives. By 0700 Hour on 21 June 1999, Point 5203 had been re­cap­tured. Seven dead bod­ies of the troops of 7 NLI of Pak­istan which had been left be­hind by their com­rades were given a mil­i­tary fu­neral by the troops of 12 JAK LI. Cap­tain BM Cari­appa of 5 PARA was awarded a Veer Chakra for his act of gal­lantry that night and for later bat­tles. On 07 June 1999, 12 JAK LI launched their at­tack on Point 5203 un­der Ma­jor San­jiv Dutt and Cap­tain Amol Kalia. Climb­ing from the Junk Lungpa, the troops reached close to the en­emy po­si­tion by first light of 08 June, where they lay qui­etly through­out the day to avoid alert­ing the en­emy. The en­emy was alerted in the evening of 08 June just as our troops were pre­par­ing to launch the as­sault. A fierce coun­ter­at­tack at 2300 Hours was beaten back by our sol­diers.

Lead­ing from the front, Cap­tain Amol Kalia as­saulted the near­est en­emy po­si­tion with a hand­ful of men and man­aged to cap­ture the po­si­tion. AT 0300 Hours on 09 June, the en­emy launched a second coun­ter­at­tack sup­ported by ar­tillery, ma­chine guns and RPGS from two di­rec­tions. In the hand-to-hand fight that fol­lowed, Cap­tain Kalia's LMG crew was killed. The Of­fi­cer took over the LMG him­self and killed three en­emy per­son­nel, in­jur­ing three oth­ers. Dur­ing this ac­tion, he was seriously in­jured by a burst of bul­lets. In spite of this, he con­tin­ued to fight till his last breath and suc­cumbed to his in­juries only when the coun­ter­at­tack had been beaten back and the po­si­tion had been re­in­forced by our forces.

For showing raw courage beyond the call of duty in the face of the en­emy, dy­namic lead­er­ship and ut­most pro­fes­sional ded­i­ca­tion with com­plete dis­re­gard for his own safety, Cap­tain Amol Kalia was posthu­mously awarded the Vir Chakra.

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