All about Captain Vikram Batra
- Captain Batra was born on 9 September 1974 in Kangra Valley, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh. He was the third child to Girdhari Lal Batra, government school principal, and Kamal Kant, a school teacher.
- Capt. Batra was an all-rounder and excelled in academics and extracurricular activities.He pursued his graduation from DAV College, Chandigarh. He simultaneously joined the air wing of National Cadet Corps (NCC) where he was adjudged the best NCC cadet of North India and attained the rank of Second Under Officer in his unit.
- Deeply inspired by his maternal grandfather who was a soldier in the Indian Army, Capt. Batra was keen on joining defence forces. He decided to prepare for Combined Defence Service (CDS) examination.
- Interestingly Capt. Batra got an opportunity to join the Merchant Navy. He was to join the ship in Hong Kong. His uniform had been stitched, his tickets booked. But he changed his mind telling his mother that :
“Money is not everything in life; I have to do something bigger in life, something great, something extraordinary, for my country”.
- In 1996, his dream came true when he passed the CDS exam and subsequently cleared the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview from SCE, Allahabad.
After completing his 19-month course from Indian Military Academy he was commissioned as a Lieutenant into the 13th Battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir (13 JAK Rif). He subsequently went ahead with a commando course at Belgaum, Karnataka in January, 1999.
Kargil War and ‘Sher Shah’
- The young Lieutenant came into prominence when he led his Delta company to recapture Point 5140.
- Fighting from a disadvantaged position, Captain Batra devised a plan to ambush enemies from the rear side. Despite facing heavy artillery fire, he and his company managed to destroy two machine gun posts. Capt Batra single handedly killed three enemies soldiers in close combat and captured the point and gave the success signal as “Yeh dil maange more!!”.
- On his next mission to capture point 4750 and point 4875, the “sher shah” as the troops regarded him, geared up with his company to achieve this feat which was at a height of 16000 ft and a perilous climb of 80 degrees with vertical.
- The mission was almost over when one of the junior officer was hit in an explosion and was trapped. Capt Batra along with one of the subedar started rescuing him but due to heavy gunfire from enemy he was facing problems in safe evacuation.
- Without caring for his life, Capt Batra ordered the subedar to move towards the safer side whilst facing the enemy bullets and was hit by an enemy sniper from close range and a split second later by a splinter from an RPG. Capt Batra succumbed to his wounds and made the ultimate sacrifice.
- On 8th July 1999, India recaptured the point 4875 but lost a brave son. The point is now called “Batra Top”.
Param Vir Chakra and Legacy:
Captain Vikram Batra was posthumously awarded Param Vir Chakra, the highest military decoration of India on 15 August 1999 as a mark of unmatched courage and leadership of highest honor in the face of the enemy.
His grief-stricken mother said:
“Maybe there was a reason why God gave me twins - one for the country and one for me.”
which depicts the dedication of not only Capt Batra but also his family towards the motherland.
He now lives in the hearts of millenials who aspire to don the olive greens.
Note: President K. R. Narayanan presenting the Param Vir Chakra (posthumous) to the father of Captain Vikram Batra.
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