Updated October 15, 2022
The soldiers choose a call of duty to country over the self, and Vikram Batra exemplifies it in truest sense. Captain Batra’s exemplary valour, courage & sacrificing spirits knew no bounds. He laid his life for the country while encountering Pakistani forces in the course of capturing Point 4875 in Kargil war.
Vikram Batra, the then lieutenant of 13 JAK Rifles, also triumphed victory over Point 5140, a strategically crucial Mountain peak. For his significant contributions & role in the Kargil War, Batra was awarded Param Vir Chakra (posthumously). The contributions of Captain Batra in the Kargil War are inspiring to every individual of India & will endure through time.
The article features inspiring incidents that occurred with Param Vir Chakra Awardee Captain Vikram Batra, so keep reading!
Captain Vikram Batra Early Life & Family
|Date of Birth||9th September, 1974|
|Place of Birth||Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India|
|Height||1.73 m (5’8″)|
|Father’s Name||Girdhari Lal Batra|
|Mother’s Name||Kamala Kanta Batra|
|Brother’ Name||Vishal Batra|
|Sisters||Seema & Nutan|
Vikram Batra comes from a Kshatriya community and was born on 9th September 1974, at Palampur, Himachal Pradesh. For the unversed, his parents were from a teacher profession: his mother, Kamala Kanta Batra was a School teacher, while his father, Girdhari Lal Batra was a Principal at a government school.
He was not the only child of his parents but was born as the third child of Girdhari Lal Batra & Kamala Kanta Batra. Interestingly, Vikram was the twin brother and eldest of 14 minutes from his brother Vishal. More so, he even had two sisters: Seema and Nutan.
Vikram Batra’s Fiancee
It would sound little unusual to you when I make mentions of Vikram Batra’s fiancée under his family details. However, I have a perspective which you would agree to. Dimple Cheema, the fiancée of legendary Vikram Batra chose to remain unmarried after martyrdom of Vikram in Kargil War.
Making choices of values in life and standing by them for entire your life is no easy feat. But, an Indian girl Dimple Cheema did that, which is reflective of Indian family values unseen elsewhere in the world. Holding Vikram as her eternal love and deciding to remain widow of his, is only apt to say that she is integral to Vikram’s family. To me, Dimple Cheema, the fiancée of Captain Batra, is an unsung hero and, I strongly feel that India is great more because of these women power.
Vikram Batra: Education Qualification
|School||(a) D.A.V. Public School, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh (up to 8th Class)|
(b) KVS, a Central Government school for senior secondary education, where he completed his 12th schooling with 82% marks
Panjab University, Chandigarh
|Hobbies||Playing Table Tennis, Karate & Listening to Music|
|Educational Qualifications||Under-graduation: BSc in Medical Science|
Post-graduation: MA in English (Didn’t Complete)
Captain Batra did his primary education under the mentorship of his mother, Kamala Kant Batra, a teacher in the government school. After completing his primary & basic education from his mother, he went to DAV Public School for his middle (upper primary) learning.
However, Vikram changed his school to KVS, a Central Government school for senior secondary education, where he completed his 12th schooling with 82% marks. Apart from being a brilliant student in academics, he was notably an excellent sportsperson. He never tried to stop himself from participating in any games and sports.
Talking about the same, Table Tennis & Karate are among the sports where he shows his skills & presence of mind. In Karate, he was a green belt holder, while he & his brother (Vishal) represented their school in table tennis at All India KVS Nationals. Also, Vikram Batra represented his school at the National level during Youth Parliamentary Competitions in Delhi.
Story of Vikram Batra Making to The Armed Forces
“Morning shows the day” fits rightly in the case of the great Vikram Batra. He had it in his mental bent since the very beginning that he would do something great for the country. Precisely, Vikram was a born leader and a true soldier from his early days.
The Stepping Stones to be an Army Officer
Upon completing his senior secondary education, Vikram Batra enrolled in B.Sc Medical Sciences at DAV College, Chandigarh. From there, interest in the military grew and gradually advanced towards it. Captain Batra joined the Air Wing of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and marked his presence in the mind of senior NCC officials.
Talking about the same, officials recognized him as the best NCC Air Wing cadet of Punjab Directorate in the North Zone. More so, his excellence in the field made the NCC senior personnel send him 40-days para trooping training with his NCC Air Wing unit at Pinjore Airfield and Flying Club. At the college, besides being involved in National Cadet Corps, he also managed the president post of the Youth Service Club.
The involvement in National Cadet Corps (NCC) had significantly impacted Vikram Batra and driven him to advance into the military field. During his college, he also obtained the “C” certificate in NCC cadet and was selected for the Senior Under Officer position in his NCC unit. He had already made his decision about what he wanted to be in his life, which came out after the Republic parade. In 1994, after participating in Republic Parade as an NCC cadet, he mustered all the courage and told his parents about his interest in joining the Army.
His desire to join the Indian Army was so intense that he turned down the whopping offer of crores to join the merchant navy at a shipping company headquartered in Hong Kong. Reportedly, he expressed that he aspired to do “something great, something extraordinary, which may bring fame to my country.”
Vikram Batra Joins The Army
In order to prepare for the CDS examination, he joined Panjab University in Chandigarh and enrolled in an MA English course after graduating from DAV College. With a year of preparation and hard work, he cracked the Central Defense Examination (CDS) in 1996. Subsequently, he was called for an SSB interview at Allahabad, where Captain Vikram Batra also performed surprisingly excellently and held the 35th position in the Order of Merit List.
Captain Batra left the degree in the middle of a two-year session to join Indian Military Academy. He joined the IMA, Dehradun, in June 1996 and became part of the Manekshaw Battalion. Upon completing his 19th-month rigorous training, he was commissioned as a lieutenant into the 13 battalions of the Jammu & Kashmir Rifles (13 JAK Rifles). Then after, he was sent to Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh for regimental training for one month.
Vikram Batra as an Army Officer
After completing his training, Captain Vikram Batra got his first posting at Sopore in Baramullah district of Jammu & Kashmir, where significant militant activities occur. Batra even encountered several skirmishes with the militant during his posting in Sopore.
One of his encounters with the militants was sad for him as a militant bullet killed a soldier of his battalion, which was for him. The incident occurred when he was leading an ambush in the dense forest with his platoon, and a bullet from a militant grazed his shoulder, killing one of his men behind him.
Batra responded fiercely by telling his men to fire at the militants, and by morning, all the militants had been killed. He believed the bullet was intended for him, not his colleague. The incident also highlighted the leadership quality, determination, and mentality of Captain Batra for the first time.
During his posting in Sopore, he went for several other training to gain expertise and to become fit to handle militant activities efficiently. In 1998, Batra was sent to the Infantry School at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh Young, for Officer’s Course, which lasted around five months. Then after, he went for Commando Course in January 1999 at Belgaum, Karnataka, which lasted about two months. Through this training, he embraced other skills and qualifications.
After completing his counter-insurgency tenure in Sopore, he, along with battalion “13 JAK Rif,” was ordered to proceed to Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. They reached the destination, but on 5th June 1999, the battalion got ready to move to Dras due to the outbreak of War.
Heroics of Captain Vikram Batra during Kargil War
While leaving for Dras, he informed his parents about the movement and told him that he would call in every 10 days. With this short conversation, he, along with his battalion, left Shahjahanpur for Dras. The 13 JAK Rifles reached Dras on 6th June, and the battalion was placed under the command of the 56 Mountain Brigade.
As the Indian Army had already suffered heavy casualties and required many soldiers to capture Tololing, the 13 JAK Rif battalion was kept as a backup for supporting 2 Rajputana Rifles during their attack on Tololing Mountain. However, 2 Rajputana Rifles succeed in the mission of capturing Tololing without any significant requirement of the 13 JAK Rifles battalion.
Captain Vikram Batra & his battalion marched from Dras to Tololing after the triumphant victory of the Indian Army, more specifically, 2 Rajputana Rifles. The series of successes continued after controlling the Tololing peak. However, Captain Batra got the chance to express leadership qualities, strong mental, determination, valor, and so on, in the task of capturing Point 5140.
Understandably, it was strategically a significant Mountain peak for the security of the Indian Army and was the necessity to put in control of the IAF. Therefore, under the commanding officer, Yogesh Kumar Joshi, the 13 JAK Rif battalion was assigned the task of capturing point 5140.
Capture of Point 5140 Mountain Peak
With the intricate observation of the Peak on 18th June 1999, Lieutenant colonel Joshi made a plan to attack the Pakistanis sangars fortified over the Point 4150 feature. The plan of Joshi was to attack Point 5140 from two sides: East and West. The Bravo Company, under the command of Lieutenant Sanjeev Singh Jamwal, advanced from the east, while Delta Company, under the command of Lieutenant Vikram Batra, attacked from the west.
When the lieutenant colonel, Yogesh Kumar Joshi, was briefing the mission, they were told to choose words that would be radioed on completing the mission. Captain Batra chose the words “Yeh Dil Mange More” as a success signal, whilst Sanjeev Singh Jamwal chose “Oh! Yeah, yeah, yeah!” words to be a success signal.
On 20th June 1999, after midnight, both Delta & Bravo companies climbed the treacherous and humongous cliff & named the victory in their name. Though Lieutenant Vikram killed 3-Pakistanis soldiers during the assault, he even sustained grave injuries in close combat. However, Delta & Bravo Companies of 13 JAK Rif completed the mission without any casualties.
The victory on Point 5140 peak was a great achievement for the Indian Army and helped Vikram Batra to get promoted to Captain Rank. General Ved Prakash Malik, the then Chief Army Staff, called to congratulate him. His valour, courage & achievement had become the headlines of every news channel and circulating across India.
Upon completing the mission of capturing Point 4150, the battalion, along with Captain Vikram Batra, on 26th June, was ordered to move from Dras to Ghumri to rest, refit, and recover. As the Kargil war on the culmination, there were several other strategically important areas still to get control of the Indian Armed Forces.
Capture of Point 4875
The 13 JAK Rif was again assigned the task of eliminating Pakistanis soldiers from Point 4875 and restoring control over it. The feature Point 4875 was strategically an essential peak for the Indian Army as it could have the potential to gravely harm the Indian soldiers. More so, if it were in the hand of Pakistanis soldiers, they could observe the activities happening around 30-40 km long National Highway 1 (stretch from Drass to Matayan). Therefore, it had become significantly crucial for the IAF to neutralize the Pakistanis soldiers from Point 4875.
The higher officials, with intricate observation, formulated a plan to attack the soldiers holding Point 4875. They strategically deployed the battalion as artillery gunfire to support the infantry during climbing and also dumped tons of ammunition and heavy weapons. Upon completing all the preparation, assaulting companies began climbing point 4875 on 4th July. However, Captain Vikram Batra was not leading any company on that offensive assault as he had suffered from gave injuries.
Both companies, “A” and “C,” almost reached the vicinity of Point 4875 by the first light, just 50 meters short of the target. Since it had become day, it caused danger for the soldiers while advancing to the Peak. More so, the soldiers faced incessant effective sniper firing.
The Indian Army was able to bring down the firing of guns and snipers with effective leadership and valour of the soldiers on 5th July 1999. Subsequently, companies “A” and “B” captured point 4875 on the same day. Read on how his bravery & sacrifices was crucial to final victory and all the way to Kargil Vijay Diwas.
The Precise Account of Gallantry by Vikram for Point 4875
The victory would have been wasted if they did not gain control over the “Area Flat Top.” Therefore, the forces ferociously attacked the “Area Flat Top” and eliminated the Pakistanis intruder. The Young Captain NA Nagappa, holding the Flat Top, had to face a fierce counterattack from the Pakistanis forces. Though Indian soldiers bravely put in control of the Pakistanis advancing, Captain Naveen Nagappa sustained severe injuries and fell unconscious. And the Indian Army urgently needed reinforcements.
Batra, recuperating and observing from the camp, insisted his commanding officer to let him volunteer. Along with Batra, his battalion’s soldiers also volunteered to accompany him. Captain Vikram, accompanied by 25 soldiers, prayed at Durga Temple before leaving the camp. From the base, it was radioed to the trapped Indian soldiers that Sher Shah was coming (Batra’s Code name was Sher Shah). The signal of coming to Shershah rejuvenated the Army holding the Flat Top position.
While Captain Batra & his men were en route to the top, Batra saw a machine gun pointing at the trapped Indian soldiers. He, by crouching, reached to enemy’s machine gun he lobbed a grenade, and destroyed the machine gun position. The danger of climbing to the enormous cliff got more complicated with black pitch night, though Captain Batra’s platoon managed to reach the ledge.
Taking Charge to face Bullets from the Front
While patrolling the area, Batra located the position of the enemy sangar (a small protected structure) from which their machine guns were firing on his soldiers. Batra realized there was no alternative but to fire a direct attack in daylight. So, he moved forward in the face of heavy fire from enemy machine guns, shouting “Durga Mata Ki Jai,” and charged the sangar with his AK-47.
In this advancement, though he suffered grave injuries, he did not step back and reach the very narrow entrance of the sanger. And the Indian platoon gained a position on the ledge with his bravery and courage. More so, he killed five Pakistanis soldiers in a close-quarter battle.
With this surprise attack and advancement on the ledge, Captain Batra promptly decided to hit the Pakistani soldiers harder. Charging alone, Captain Batra destroyed the machine gun nest along with killing four more enemy soldiers. Then, he realized that one of his soldiers, Subedar Raghunath Singh had been shot.
Determined to bring his soldiers to safety, he exposed himself to enemy fire and was shot in the chest by the enemy sniper. In no time, he was again hit by a splinter on the head from an RPG and captain Batra collapsed to the injured soldiers. The brave son of Motherland becomes a martyr on 7 July 1999.
Legacy of Captain Batra
Captain Vikram Batra was awarded India’s highest military honour, Param Vir Chakra, on 15th August 1999. The then president, K.R. Narayan, presented the award to his father, G.L. Batra, on 26th January 2000.
Part of the Param Vir Chakra citation reads, “………..…Despite sustaining grave injuries, he crawled towards the enemy and hurled grenades, clearing the position with utter disregard for 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……….”
For his supreme sacrifice, bravery, courage, and valour, Captain Vikram Batra has been recognized from every corner of the country. To honour the role of Batra in capturing Point 4875, the mountain has been named Batra Top. Several other landmarks are also named after him, which include the following:
(a) Service Selection Centre in Allahabad has named ‘Vikram Batra Block.’
(b) IMA Dehradun has named the cadet’s mess ‘Vikram Batra Mess’
(c) A residential area in the Jabalpur Cantonment was also named after him and called ‘Captain Vikram Batra Enclave.’
(d) At his Alma Mater, DAV College in Chandigarh, a memorial for war veterans, including Batra, is displayed.
(e) Saheed Captain Vikram Batra Stadium at Palampur was named after Batra
(f) New Delhi’s Mukarba Chowk and its flyover have been renamed “Shaheed Captain Vikram Batra Chowk.”
(g) Government College Palampur has been renamed Shaheed Captain Vikram Batra Government College, Palampur.
Questions mostly Asked about Captain Vikram Batra
Ans- Vikram Batra is famous for his courage, valor, and bravery in restoring point 5140 Peak. And his supreme sacrifice in capturing the Point 4875 Mountain peak from the Pakistanis intruder.
Ans- Vikram Batra lost his life at the age of 24 in evacuating one of his soldiers, Subedar Raghunath Singh, and most importantly, capturing Point 4875. If he lived, Batra would have completed 47 years.
Ans- Captain Vikram Batra was a Punjab Khatri, a Kshatriya Community.
Ans- Dimple Cheema is the lover of Captain Batra.
Ans- Captain Vikram Batra, while evacuating one of his injured soldiers was shot in the chest by Pakistanis sniper and in no time he was again hit in the head by a splinter from an RPG.
Ans- No, Captain Vikram Batra was martyred on 7th July, 199.
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