Tiger Hill, Kargil
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Tiger hill (highest mountain seen in the background) as seen from the River Indus in Kargil.
|Elevation||17,411 ft (5,307 m)|
|Location||Drass/Kargil, Jammu and Kashmir, India|
Tiger Hill or "Point 4660" is a mountain in the Drass-Kargil area of Jammu & Kashmir, India. It is one of the highest peaks in the area and was the subject of the famous battle during the 1999 India-Pakistan Kargil War. Its recapture was one of the most important objective for Indian forces during the Kargil War.
Since Tiger Hill is the highest peak in the sector, the Pakistani forces who held the peak could easily see the military headquarters of the 56 Brigade, the main Indian force in charge of the area. The Point 5353 overlooks the National Highway 1D (India), a strategic root way to Siachen Glacier and connects Srinagar to Leh in Ladakh which enabled the Pakistanis to watch the Srinagar-Leh Highway, the main supply route of the Kargil Sector, and relay information of troop and supply movements to their superiors. They can easily direct fire on a 25 km stretch of the national highway.
India could not allow this, since with this information, Pakistan could accurately and easily shell the Indian positions. Furthermore, the Pakistanis had infiltrated farther into the Kargil Sector, and India needed a good surveillance point to root out and destroy these posts.
Indian artillery started shelling Tiger Hill to force the enemy to keep their head down, while the 18 Grenadiers, 2 Naga, and 8 Sikh Regiment of the Indian Army got ready to attack Tiger Hill. The main tactic was the most difficult ever employed on an open battlefield. An Indian contingent of 12-18 soldiers were to climb a steep cliff with a height of 1000 feet and attack the Pakistani forces, which were then engaged in shelling with Indian artillery, and stage a surprise attack.
The assault team had 200 men, with some 2000 troops providing rear support. 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. The assault began at 5:15 pm on 3 July, with India shelling the Pakistani positions. The Pakistanis returned fire and defended the position.
While this was happening, the mountaineer Grenadiers had moved into position, and at 8 pm attacked. 10 Pakistani soldiers were killed, and 2 escaped; 15 Indian soldiers were also killed. The main hero of the battle was Indian Soldier Yogendra Singh Yadav who was later awarded with the highest award of the Indian Army Param Vir Chakra.
By 6:50 am, on 4 July, the Indians re-captured Tiger Hill (Point 4660). Later on, Indian media reported that Point 5353, a strategically important peak in the Dras sector, was still under Pakistan's control. After this, the Indian Army said that the peak had never held by India, and was not on its side of the LoC. Indian army however continued efforts for retaking it, till 2003 when a ceasefire agreement was signed between Pakistan and India. Pakistan consolidated its position on Point 5353 by constructing concrete bunkers and a road from Benazir Post, the base of the peak to Pakistan's rear headquarters at Gultari.
- "Commander ordered capture of Point 5353 in Kargil war". The Hindu. 30 June 2004. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- "Skeletons in the Generals’ cupboards". The Hindu. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
- "Troops re-capture Tiger hill after 3 pronged attack". Jammu-Kashmir.com. 4 July 1999. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
- Fact and Fiction on Point 5353
- Near Tiger Hill, Point 5353 still Pak-occupied - Last Paragraph
- Kargil Questions