On the eve of Kargil divas,

Date: 30 Jul 2009


On the eve of Kargil divas, let us Salute & Recall
The surviving Pakis were given safe passage back to Pakistan, after they had brutalised, tortured; killed & mutilated our captured troops.
Compared to their Barbaric ways, post 1971; we let 94,000 POW Pakis go Scot free, signalling to the World the nadir of our ignoramus Govt.
If it had anything to do with the word govern
. . . . Some 530 Indian soldiers were killed in two months of fighting before the Pakistanis were pushed back to their territory..\\\\\ 

--- On Fri, 24/7/09, IAF History <xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.com> wrote:

http://in.news. yahoo.com/ 43/20090723/ 812/tnl-as- mi-17s-roared- in-kargil- pilots-ce. html[quote]
As Mi-17s roared in Kargil, pilots celebrated with chocolates   
Thu, Jul 23 01:12 PM
New Delhi, July 23, 2009. (IANS) Air Commodore A.K. Sinha remembers vividly the first shots he fired from his Mi-17 helicopter at the Pakistanis seated on Tiger Hill and Tololing peaks in the icy heights of Kargil in 1999 -- and celebrating it with crunchy chocolates high in the air.
The stinging attack by (then Wing Commander) Sinha marked a dramatic new twist to the Kargil conflict that almost triggered the fourth full-scale India-Pakistan war since independence in 1947.
'We were waiting for the go ahead. The situation was tense and the army was looking for our support. On May 26 (1999) we led the first helicopter attack on Tololing and Tiger Hill,' Sinha told IANS, talking about the hills that became household names in India. 'I led the main strike force and got to fire the opening shots.'
The helicopters, stretching the flying limits of the machine to extreme, fired salvos that overwhelmed the Pakistanis.. What came in handy were the 2,000 flying hours Sinha had under his belt from Siachen Glacier, the world's highest battleground.
'Nowhere in the world has a conflict been fought in such terrain. In Siachen we have been maintaining posts but in Kargil it was direct engagement with an enemy armed with Stinger missiles,' Sinha recalled.
'Our helicopters sneaked up through the narrow valleys and popped up to bombard the peaks. The first operation was a success. We actually celebrated the moment with chocolates we carried on board,' Sinha said with a glint in his eyes.
The face-off in the snowy mountains of Kargil took place in the summer of 1999 after Pakistani insurgents as well as camouflaged troops sneaked into Jammu and Kashmir and occupied key hills along the international border.
Some 530 Indian soldiers were killed in two months of fighting before the Pakistanis were pushed back to their territory. The Pakistani toll remains unclear -- because Islamabad did not accept official involvement in what turned out to be a costly misadventure.
Sinha said that a day after the helicopter assault, the Indian Army intercepted calls from the intruders on Tololing to their handlers saying 'Hum capture hone wale hain'. (We are about to be captured).
Showing the video of two Stinger missiles closely flying past his helicopter, Sinha described the lethality of the Mi-17: 'It had a terrific record during the Russian attack on Afghanistan. It was known as 'terror'. Kargil was one place where it was used in an offensive role. When it (MI-17) fires, there is no question of someone keeping his head up. It is like raining bombs!'
However, on the third day, Sinha lost one of his helicopters and crew after it was hit by a missile. This was the second time a MI-17 helicopter was shot down. The first time was in Siachen.
'I was leading the attack. At least six Stingers were fired. The missile hit the number three helicopter and it crashed. When we spotted the wreckage, there was nothing left.
'That did not lower our morale. My boys were like - 'Let's take these six helicopters to Tololing and finish them up',' said Sinha.
Much after the Pakistanis retreated lock, stock and barrel, providing India its finest military victory after the 1971 Bangladesh war, Sinha won the Vir Chakra, the third highest gallantry award, for the Kargil attack.
Ritu Sharma