9 September 1974|
Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
|Died||7 July 1999
KIA in Kargil, Jammu & Kashmir
|Allegiance||Republic of India|
|Years of service||1996–1999|
|Service number||IC 57556|
|Unit||13 JAK RIF|
Battle of Tiger Hill
|Awards||Param Vir Chakra|
Captain Vikram Batra, PVC (9 September 1974 – 7 July 1999) was an officer of the Indian Army, posthumously awarded with the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest and prestigious award for valour, for his actions during the 1999 Kargil War in Kashmir between India and Pakistan. He led one of the toughest operations in mountain warfare in Indian history. He was often called as ‘'Sher Shah'’ in the intercepted messages of the Pakistan army.
Early life and career
Vikram Batra was born on 9 September 1974 in Ghuggar village near Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, to G.L. Batra and Jai Kamal Batra. He got his primary education from his mother, who herself is a teacher. He received his education up to Middle Standard at the D.A.V. Public School in Palampur and up to senior secondary stage in Central School, Palampur. After passing his 10+2 in 1992 from Central School Palampur, he got admitted in D.A.V. College, Chandigarh in B.Sc where he was adjudged the best N.C.C. Cadet (Air Wing) in two zones. Later, he was selected to join the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun in 1996 in Jessore company of Manekshaw Battalion, and was commissioned in the Indian Army as a Lieutenant of the 13 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles at Sopore, in Jammu and Kashmir. He rose to the rank of Captain.
|Video about Captain Vikram Batra on YouTube showing a reenactment of his final battle during Kargil War, narrated by his then-commanding officer, Yogesh Kumar Joshi|
During the Kargil invasion of 1999 by Pakistan, Lt. Batra (at time) was ordered to recapture peak 5140 on June 19, 1999 five weeks after the war began.
On 1 June 1999, his unit proceeded to the Kargil Sector on the eruption of a war-like situation in Kargil, Drass and Batalik sub-sectors from where he was sent along with his company on the first strategic and daring operation to recapture the first peak of utmost importance - Point 5140, which was at an altitude of 17,000 feet. Captain Vikram Batra, 13 JAK Rifles, and his Delta Company was given the task of recapturing Point 5140. Nicknamed Sher Shah ('Lion King') in Urdu for his courage which also doubled as his call sign, he decided to lead the rear, as an element of surprise would help stupefy the enemy. He and his men ascended the sheer rock-cliff, but as the group neared the top, the enemy pinned them on the face of the bare cliff with machine gun fire. Captain Batra, along with five of his men, climbed up regardless and after reaching the top,hurled two grenades at the machine gun post. He single-handedly killed three enemy soldiers in close combat. He was seriously injured during this, but insisted on regrouping his men to continue with the mission. Inspired by the courage displayed by Captain Batra, the soldiers of 13 JAK Rifles charged the enemy position and captured Point 5140 at 3:30 a.m. on 20 June 1999. His company is credited with killing at least eight Pakistani soldiers and recovering a heavy machine gun.
The capture of Point 5140 set in motion a string of successes, such as Point 5100, Point 4700, Junction Peak and Three Pimples. Along with fellow Captain Anuj Nayyar, Batra led his men to victory with the recapture of Point 4750 and Point 4875.
The capture of peak 5140 led to the fall of Tiger Hill and India’s eventual hold on the valley got stronger. When he called his father after the operation saying that he had completed the operation and captured the peak, little did he know that his responsibilities were going to increase many fold in the coming days.
Nine days after that phone call, Vikram Batra made one more phone call as he was to leave for an urgent mission to recapture peak 4875. This was one of the most difficult peaks to capture as the Pakistani troops sat above the peak at 16000 feet and the climb gradient was 80 degrees. The fog made matters worse for Batra and his team. He never called back home again.
In the early morning hours of 7 July 1999, he was commanding a mission to rescue an injured officer during an enemy counterattack against Point 4875. During the rescue attempt, he pushed aside his Subedar, saying "Tu baal-bacchedar hai, hat ja peeche."(You have children, step aside) and was killed in action while clearing enemy positions. His last words were, "Jai Mata Di.", which is a Punjabi creed referring to Durgadevi, the Hindu Goddess of Victory.
Param Vir Chakra
CAPTAIN VIKRAM BATRA
13 JAMMU AND KASHMIR RIFLES (IC 57556)
During ‘Operation Vijay’, on 20 June 1999, Captain Vikram Batra, Commander Delta Company was tasked to attack Point 5140. Captain Batra with his company skirted around the feature from the East and maintaining surprise reached within assaulting distance of the enemy. Captain Batra reorganized his column and motivated his men to physically assault the enemy positions. Leading from the front, he in a daredevil assault, pounced on the enemy and killed four of them in a hand-to hand fight. On 7 July 1999, in another operation in the area Pt 4875, his company was tasked to clear a narrow feature with sharp cuttings on either side and heavily fortified enemy defences that covered the only approach to it. For speedy operation, Captain Batra assaulted the enemy position along a narrow ridge and engaged the enemy in a fierce hand –to-hand fight and killed five enemy soldiers at point blank range. Despite sustaining grave injuries, he crawled towards the enemy and hurled grenades clearing the position with utter disregard to his personal safety, leading from the front, he rallied his men and pressed on the attack and achieved a near impossible military task in the face of heavy enemy fire. The officer, however, succumbed to his injuries. Inspired by his daredevil act, his troops fell upon the enemy with vengeance, annihilated them and captured Point 4875.
Captain Vikram Batra, thus, displayed the most conspicuous personal bravery and leadership of the highest order in the face of the enemy and made the supreme sacrifice in the highest traditions of the Indian Army.
Captain Batra is also well known in India for using the slogan, Yeh Dil Maange More! as his signal to communicate mission success. He is also known for an interview in which he stated that Pakistani Soldiers were aware of him as "Sher Shah" and addressed him as such in the middle of engagements.
He is also honoured with several landmarks being named after him: A hall at Service Selection Center Allahabad is named 'Vikram Batra Block', a residential area in the Jabalpur Cantonment is called 'Captain Vikram Batra Enclave' and the combined cadet's mess at the IMA is named 'Vikram Batra Mess'.
"Either I will come back after hoisting the Tricolour (Indian flag), or I will come back wrapped in it, but i will be back for sure."
"Yeh Dil Maange More! (My heart asks for more!)"
"Don't worry about us, Pray for your safety."
Batra's last words were the battle-cry "Jai Mata Di!" ("Victory to Mother Durga!" in Dogri/ Punjabi)"
- Captain Anuj Nayyar, fellow commander
- Indo-Pakistani Wars
- Kargil War
- Military of India
- Param Vir Chakra
- Yeh Dil Maange More!
- 'Yeh Dil Maange More'..Remembering Captain Vikram Batra, NDTV, retrieved 9 September 2014
- "Kargil Update: Indian Army". Param Vir Chakra. Ministry of Defence, Government of India. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- Archana Masih, Dominic Xavier, Rajesh Karkera (17 June 2004). "The soldier who became a legend". Rediff News. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- The Param Vir Chakra Winners (PVC), Official Website of the Indian Army, retrieved 28 August 2014
- "LOC: Kargil (2003)". IMDb. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- ABP News (11 Aug 2012), Captain Vikram Batra said 'ye dil maange more'!
- Capt Batra lived up to his code name, The Indian Express, retrieved 9 September 2014