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Our Hero
When Dictator Mushy visited India he told whole world <b>"There are no POWs in Pakistan jail"</b>

He is a big time lair. Denial is their religion.


<b>Can we give them back their Home & Honour</b>
Can we give them back their Home & Honour

<i>Weeks after Kargil, two Indian soldiers were captured by Pakistan. Their regiment branded them deserters after saying they were ‘sighted.’ That stained their family honour, froze their income. Last week, an Indo-Pak phone call began the process of getting them back. The Sunday Express visits their homes in Meerut and Mukhtsar and finds two waiting families changed for ever. One soldier’s daughter hasn’t seen her father yet, the other’s wife has married again. One has lost his father, the other his mother </i>


MEERUT, MUKHTSAR, MAY 8: Last week, Lt Gen Amrik Singh Bahia, Director-General, Military Operations, called Maj Gen Mohammed Yousaf, his counterpart in Islamabad, with a very specific agenda: How to bring Lance Naik Jagsir Singh and Sapper Mohammed Arif home. He was seeking to bring an end to a sad and silent chapter in Indian military history.

Captured five years ago when they strayed across LoC near Kargil, the two men were disowned by their own regiment and declared deserters. Their salaries were frozen. Police reports were filed against them in their villages and a label of shame pinned to their Army records.

The two soldiers from 108 Engineer Regiment, which was engaged in de-mining operations after the guns fell silent in Kargil, disappeared after being despatched to their unit headquarters on September 17, 1999.

An official regimental report, accessed by The Sunday Express, proclaims them as ‘‘deserters/away without leave,’’ and claims that they were sighted ‘‘by unit personnel on September 19.’’

That wasn’t accurate.

Pak authorities are now said to have acknowledged that Jagsir and Arif have been in their custody since September 17, 1999, the day of their disappearance. And Islamabad is willing to free them in exchange for three Pakistani civilians and one soldier, now in Indian jails.

‘‘We are working on a war footing to repatriate these two soldiers,’’ the Army’s official spokesman, Major Gen Deepak Summanwar, told The Sunday Express tonight.

Jagsir and Arif may cross the Wagah border soon, to return to what remains of their families. One man has lost a father and another a mother—each parent protesting to the end that their son was innocent. One’s wife has remarried another’s refuses to say if she will return.

The Sunday Express travelled to their hometowns to record the stories of the two families.

My brother wants me to remarry, says the waiting wife

Kuldeep is four years old but she spreads the fingers on her palm to insist that she is really five. That, of course, can’t be true because Kuldeep has never seen her father—and Jagsir went missing slightly less than five years ago.

Kuldeep was born in November 1999, two months after her father Jagsir was captured. By that time, he had already been declared a deserter and the local police had already called on the family’s one-room hovel on the edge of Kotbhai village in Muktsar to make sure he was not hiding there. Unable to face the shame and the uncertainty, Kuldeep’s mother, Jaswinder, packed her bags and left for her own family home just days after the girl was born. Kuldeep grew up in poverty, with a laminated picture of Jagsir in uniform the only decoration in the room. She is proud of the father she has never seen.

• In exchange for freeing the two soldiers, Pakistan wants to secure the release of Sepoy Salim Ali Shah, who was arrested on November 23, 2002. He was initially charged with crossing the border illegally. A case of attempted murder was later filed against him. Since he was arrested in peace time, authorities refuse to treat him as a prisoner of war. Pakistan also wants India to free three of its civilians, currently in a Jammu and Kashmir prison for crossing the border illegally.
• Three Indian ministries are involved in the exercise. The Defence MInistry is working out the modalities of the exchange with Pakistan. The Home Ministry is coordinating the release of Pakistani prisoners with the state governments. Eventually, the Ministry of External Affairs will step in for talks about the actual exchange.

Gurdev, Jagsir’s father, fought till the end to clear his son’s name. He wrote to the Prime Minister and to the Chief of Army Staff. He badgered Jagsir’s Regiment. All he got was the stock reply: ‘‘Missing since September 17, 1999, sighted by unit personnel on September 19, 1999’’ — hence a deserter. That inaccuracy has now been corrected but it came too late for Gurdev, who died a few months back. Since then, his wife, Chhoto, 60, has been bringing up Kuldeep. ‘‘Why would he desert?’’ asks a tired Chhoto. ‘‘He had served 10 years and had everything to come back to.’’ When The Sunday Express asked to meet her daughter-in-law, Jagsir’s wife, who lives 45 km away. Chhoto was reluctant, because she had no money for the return journey. Assured that she would be dropped back, Chhoto made the trip and hugged Jaswinder with genuine warmth.

But there was an undercurrent of tension as Jaswinder’s brother sat close at hand. Jaswinder had known for a couple of months about her husband, but she refuses to say if she will return to his home. ‘‘My brother wants me to remarry,’’ she confides, refusing to say if something has already been settled.

She says goodbye to her daughter with some regret. Four years is a long time.

Brother carries a torn inland letter as proof of loyalty

In early 1999, Sapper Mohammed Arif returned to his village Mundali, in Meerut district, to get married. Ten days later, he was back in Kargil with his regiment.

While his wife, Guddi, waited patiently for months to meet once more the man she barely knew, a stream of reassuring letters from Arif sustained her. On September 15, 1999, he wrote to his family: ‘‘Meri taraf se bilkul bhi phikar na karein. Yahan mein khairiyat se hoon (Don’t worry about me. I am well).’’

That was two days before he was captured. The tattered, army postal inland has been carefully preserved by Arif’s brother, Abdul Hamid, almost like an article of faith.

‘‘See the date,’’ says Hamid, as he thrusts it into your hands. He has photocopied the letter many times over and sent it to every official he could think of, as proof that his brother was a loyal soldier, with no intentions of deserting his regiment. No one listened, but such was Hamid’s conviction that even the barely-married Guddi spent four years, waiting for news about Arif. Four years is a long time to wait for a man you have known for just ten days.

Finally, last year, the family had to make some hard decisions. Guddi was still young and there was no word on Arif. With everyone’s consent, she remarried. ‘‘She is in Bulandshahr. Don’t bother her,’’ pleaded Hamid.

Meanwhile, his ammi, Hazra Begum, died last year, still waiting for her son. Hamid earns just a few hundred rupees a month, doing odd-jobs, and he had almost stopped fighting to prove his brother’s innocence when the family got another letter in April.

It confirmed that Arif was alive in Pakistani custody. It also confirmed what Hamid had been saying all along. “Mera bhai bhagoda nahin hai (my brother is not a deserter),” he said. It’s just that when Sapper Mohammed Arif comes home, ammi and Guddi will not be there to receive him.
<b>Akshardham: Injured NSG commando dead</b>
<img src='http://im.rediff.com/news/2003/sep/24surjan1.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
May 19, 2004 11:33 IST
The National Security Guard commando who had been comatose after sustaining bullet injuries in the Akshardham operation in Gujarat in September 2002 died early on Wednesday at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.

Surjan Singh Bhandari passed away at 4.25am, his brother Commandant Uttam Singh told PTI in Ahmedabad.

Bhandari had been suffering from kidney problems and high fever in the last few days, Singh said adding he died in his sleep.

Arrangements were being made to fly the body to Bhandari's native village in Uttaranchal.

Background no bar: Rickshawpuller's girl clears PMT
Sarita Kaushik
Nagpur, June 29
<b>Her father is a rickshaw-puller. Her mother is a domestic servant. One of her brothers is a driver, the other mends punctures. They live in a slum cluster in Nagpur's otherwise upper crust Ramdaspeth locality. But Vaishali Wankhede has just done something that might help her — and her family — move out. She has passed the Pre-Medical Test (PMT) with 86 per cent marks and is on her way to becoming a doctor.</b>

She says she couldn't have done it without her mother Maya. She invested time and effort in her daughter's education, believing that it is very important for a woman to be financially independent. Vaishali repaid her with hard work.

Now various organisations and individuals are coming forward to help her further her career. Vaishali hopes she will be able to help the poor when she becomes a doctor, but she's already scripted an inspiring story for anyone fighting the odds.
A journo friend of mine from India, wants to do an article on POW. Does anyone know any PoW family, that my friend can get in touch with?
Shaurya Chakra for cop who didn't bend in riots

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The police colours that put him apart were just one part of the
story. The other, that has amazingly remained unknown, was this: two
years ago, on March 5, 2002, as the riots swept Gujarat and his
colleagues stood by silently, Rathwa fought off an armed mob of
nearly 200 tribals in Melu Village of Chote Udepur tehsil to save a
Muslim family of seven.

Shot through the thigh, both his arms broken by the angry crowd,
Rathwa ensured that the family was taken away to safety. It took all
his strength and courage. ``I pleaded with the mob that I had
children with me and that they were innocent, but they kept shouting
at me that these people were Muslims and they had to be killed,''
Rathwa recalls.
Capt martyred in terror operation
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Captain Sajjan Singh of the 10 Para (Special Forces) laid down his life on Friday after single-handedly tracking and gunning down three terrorists in Gundpur district, Baramulla. Bleeding from bullet injuries, Singh refused to be taken to hospital until the operation was wrapped up.
Dear Friends,

I am involved in setting up a website on one of the greatest Indian
Freedom fighters and one of the greatest transformational leaders of
the world, Netajee Subhash Chander Bose. I request you to take out some
time and visit our temporary website at www.geocities.com/netajeebose. If
you like it, please pass it on to your friends and acquantainces so that we
can remind the people of Netajee's heroic struggle against british
imperialism and his fight to bring true freedom to the world.


A hero salutes another: He was a brave soldier, my best buddy

Friday October 1 2004 00:44 IST
LUCKNOW: India's only Olympics silver medallist, Major Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore, on Thursday paid a private visit to Lucknow to dedicate his medal- to another hero, and dear friend Major Amiya Kumar Tripathi, who died fighting terrorists in the Kupwara sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

Tripathi died on May 25, when Rathore was training for the Olympics, and both the families had kept the news hidden till now to not disturb him.

``I perhaps would have never competed then. I kept wondering why Amiya never called to congratulate me after I won the medal on August 17...I never knew he had died much before. Everybody hid it from me...my family, his family and even my close friends. They thought I would not be able to take it. Ultimately, a friend told me about his death a few days back,'' an emotional Major Rathore told this website's newspaper on Thursday.

Rathore and Tripathi, who belonged to the Sikh Regiment, had joined the National Defence Academy together as 17-year-olds back in 1987. ``There we became friends, then joined the Indian Military Academy together and passed out in the same batch. In fact, we used to compete as a team in the various in-house debates and quizzes,'' Rathore said.

While they joined different regiments of the Army, they were always in touch. ``I had even come to Lucknow four to five times to meet his family, and his parents used to come over to our house in Jaipur,'' Rathore added.

He said he kept asking his family about Tripathi, who died at the age of 35, after winning the medal. ``But they kept telling me that he was in J-K and could not be contacted. I was surprised, as I expected Amiya to be one of the first persons to call me up to congratulate. I then called up his residence several times, but even his family did not tell me anything, saying they too had not heard from him but that he was fine. Neither of the families had the courage to break the tragic news to me,'' Rathore said.

Even when he came to Lucknow for a grand felicitation ceremony, the day after returning to India on August 21, he wasn't told anything, perhaps not to spoil his celebrations. ``I had thought I would meet Amiya's family, and called them up, but they did not say anything,'' Rathore said.

A few days ago, a close friend finally told him the truth. Rathore immediately sent his wife Gayatri to meet Tripathi's family, and rushed to Lucknow on Thursday after finishing some important engagements.

Ram Sakal Tripathi, Amiya's father, hugged Rathore at the door, and broke down. ``Where were you all this while?...We never told you,'' the distraught father kept repeating.

Major Tripathi is survived by his parents, a brother, wife Sanjana Tripathi and three-year-old boy Ayush. ``I will try to do my best for his family...especially for Ayush. I will stay with them for a day, I owe them at least this much,'' Rathore said.

``He was a gem of a person and that is why I loved him. A very brave soldier, he could do anything for a true friend. I will always rue that I could not be alongside him when he died a hero's death and his body came home. His family was all alone when he died...,'' Rathore said. ``He was my best buddy. This medal goes to him. His loss is irreparable.''

Hi Friends,
it's late but worth remembering this great fighter..

97 years back on the same day a Legend was born. A Legend who was born to sacrifice his life for our country, A legend whose destiny was our country, A legend who lived for only 24 years but his presence is felt till today and will be felt for the rest of the future. "A man is not dead until he is forgotten", My Dear Indians, Today is the birthday of the Great Legend "Bhagat Singh". Pay your tributes to this great Patriot by remembering his Gallant Sacrifice for our country. Note : Forward this to as many Indians as possible, so that every Indian is aware of this Great day. Proud to be an Indian.... JAI HIND !!!!
Came via email..

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Title : Krantitirteerth  (Temple of Revolution)
Author: Editorial

Publication: Vivek Weekly (Marathi)

Date: April 24, 2005

In the history of revolutionaries of India, the martyrdom of Chapekar Brothers is a golden page. The fatal disease plague had played havoc in Pune in 1898. The Collector of Pune 'Rand' had made the life of the citizens simply unbearable by entering the homes of people. He had terribly insulted the people. To take revenge of this social and national insult, a young man, Damodar Hari Chapekar had shot him dead. Subsequently, Damodar Hari Chapekar was arrested and his two brothers also Vasudeo Hari Chapekar and Balkrishna Hari Chapekar were also arrested under the charge of murdering Rand. And all these three young brothers from the same house went to the rope of hangman with smile on their face. This great sacrifice of life done out of pure selfless sentiment for the country did not go in vain. Even Swatantryveer Savarkar was inspired by Chapekar brothers. With all the three brothers having been hanged, the family of Chapekar  was shattered. But the pains of one family created!
a wave of lively movement in the country. Their bodies were hanged on the ropes, but in the form of inspiration they became immortal.

The large house (called Wada) of these Chapekars is in Chinchwad (Near Pune). Till 1971-72, this structure had dilapidated and was going to destruction.  A joint for drinkers had come up there. Some Sangh Swayamsevaks could not witness this state of the Wada. These young people thought, "The place of people who accepted the loop of the hangman so that we should be free and breathe free air should be in such a terrible state and we must do something". With this determination they started to work. On 11th April 2005, this Wada (House) assumed the same glory and form through the incessant and hard toil of these young people. Old houses are brought down and new ones erected.  It is not an uncommon thing. But such things do not make history. But when the structure which is a place of faith and self-pride is erected again, it is indicative of assurance that the faith and self-pride is not dead, it is alive and that structure becomes a symbol of both. This is like a guarantee that !
not only three, but entire families will be ready to sacrifice their lives. But now there is no foreign yoke. It is the need hour to work constructively for the country. While the structure was being erected, social service work was also started.

First,  a Gymnasium was erected for the young people. Then a primary school with the name of 'Krantiveer Chapekar' was started. In 2005, this school has become a banyan tree. This school has spread in other places in the town.

For the Restoration of Chapekar Memorial, Sarsanghchalak Shri Sudarshan ji was present. The imagination with which this programme was arranged deserves appreciation. For the Vastupoojan of the memorial, the descendants of Krantiveer Chapekar brothers, Martyr  Babu Genu, Krantisinha Nana Patil, the first Krantiveer Umaji Naik, Vasudeo Balwant Phadke, Martyrs Rajguru, Narayan Dabhade, Anant Kanhere, Vishnu Ganesh Pingale were present. The daughter of Krantisinha Nana Patil of 1942 movement Housabai Bhagwanrao More-Patil also was present. All the religious places in Chinchwad were visited and the daities there were worshipped. A deliberate effort was made to impress on all that this project was of all people and all sects, religions. In the public function, some people's Art performances were presented. Tuljapur's team present Gondhal and a powada of Krantiveers was presented by Yogesh and colleagues. The children from various schools presented themselves in the dress of the brave men and women who had taken the oath of working for the country. They came to the stage in the same order as that of Bharatmata Stotra which was being sung simultaneously. All the descendants were honoured on this occasion. The aim was to show that we had not forgotten those honourable brave people.

The youngsters and their efforts are inspiring. The Municipal Corporation also must be mentioned who had donated nearly 33 lakh rupees. This memorial is now recognized by the name 'Krantiteerth' (teerth = place of pilgrimage) and it will be known as an ideal memorial. There are rare photographs of revolutionaries and the drawings of their battles. When this memorial with a budget of Rs.4 crores and thirty lakhs, will be complete, it will be a gem in the garland of ideal memorials. We congratulate all youngsters who have taken incessant efforts for this memorial.

Sad day for Indians.
<b>1971 war hero Lt General J S Aurora dead</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->he hero of the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971 Lt General J S Aurora died in New Delhi on Tuesday morning.

Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora, the GOC in C , Eastern Army Command was the army officer, who signed the surrender treaty with Pakistan's General A A Niazi on December 16, 1971.

After signing the document at about 4.30pm, the Pakistani Commander handed over his Personal Pistol and Lanyard to Gen Aurora and removed his badges of rank. With that a cheer went up in the Dacca race course and Dacca became the free capital of a free country, Bangladesh.

Aurora, 92, is survived by a son and a daughter.

The funeral will take place on Thursday with full military honours, army sources said.

In May 1961, Government of India Brig J S Aurora (later Lt Gen and Army Commander, Eastern Command during 1971 War), led the team of military officers and men on a reconnaissance mission to Bhutan.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>How Lt Gen Aurora liberated Bangladesh</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>7-hr war that won India Tiger Hill </b>
SP Singh/ Ghaziabad
Yogendra Yadav, a brave soldier of the Indian Army, instrumental in capturing strategic Tiger Hill during the Kargil War, has been provided with a plot of land in Lajpat Nagar Colony of Ghaziadbad by the Uttar Pradesh Government.

Yadav, who was awarded Param Veer Chakra, the country's highest gallantry award, spoke to The Pioneer about the fight which decimated the enemy. In an exclusive interview to The Pioneer, he told how they captured Tiger Hill.

"It was 10.30 am on July 5, 1999 at 16,500 feet above the sea level. We were 25 soldiers of 18 Granadiers unit of the Indian Army. Earlier, we were ordered to advance to capture Tiger Hill from Drass Sector. After scaling the rocks for three nights, we were just 50 metres below the Tiger Hill. As chance would have it, a stone slipped during the scaling operation. And as the stone rolled down it provoked heavy crossfire from the Pakistani bunkers which were just 10 meters above us. Due to the heavy firing, 18 of our jawans and officers had to retreat. Now, we were seven jawans near the Pakistani bunkers. We were in a precarious situation, neither we could advance nor retreat.

"We had to wait for the right opportunity. By then, Pakistan had deployed a company of 135 jawans at the top of Tiger Hill. After the firing stopped we (remaining seven) slowly began advancing to capture the Pakistani bunkers which was just 10 metres away from us.

"At about 11.30 am we opened fire at the bunker and gunned down four Pakistani soldiers and captured Pakistani bunker. After we captured the Pakistani bunker, the Pakistan Army from the top of Tiger Hill sent 10 jawans to know our strength. The Tiger Hill was just 40 metres away from us. As they moved near, we gunned down eight of them.

"Two escaped and reported back to their bosses that actually we were seven jawans. After the preparations at 11.30 am on the same day 100 Pakistani Army attacked our bunker. The attack was fierce, though we could gun down 35 Pakistani soldiers, we lost 6 Indian jawans. I almost got my ammunition exhausted and the supply wasn't possible from the below. I carried 25 kg ammunition with me.

"It was a very critical time. Now out of seven, I was the sole survivor with six of my colleagues already dead. I was amid the dead bodies of Indian and Pakistani soldiers.

"The Pakistani troops thought they had destroyed the Indian Army below the Tiger Hill. To ensure that all Indian jawans were dead, they shot at the dead bodies of Indian soldiers.

"I sustained about 15 gunshot injuries on my legs, arms, thigh and in other parts of my body. The Pakistanis were sure that I was dead.

Then they took away the weapons from the bodies. But one soldier forgot the grenade that lay in my pocket. Meanwhile, I regained my consciousness. And after that things moved fast. I took out my grenade, pulled the pin and threw it at the enemy. It fell in the enemy's cap which was hanging behind his neck.

"It exploded before he could react. After the explosion, his body was blown off in the air plunging the Pakistani Army camp into confusion - they thought that the Indian Army had attacked. By then I picked up the Peeka Rifle of a Pakistani soldier lying nearby and I opened fire which left five Pakistani soldiers dead.

"After my attack, the enemy camp thought that it was the Indian Army which had attacked them. I heard the order on their wireless to retreat from the Tiger Hill and further heard the instruction to attack the Indian MMG-base 500 metres below Tiger Hill. My main task was to save the MMG base. But by that time I had lost too much blood and was unable to stay conscious.

I decided to scroll through a drain. I dumped myself in the drain covering my head. Now within five minutes I was below 400 meters and I saw my boss Lieutenant Balwan. I called him. He rescued me. I told him that the Pakistanis wanted to attack the MMG-base and had vacated Tiger Hill.

"On this tip-off, the officials deployed Charlie and Delta at the Tiger Hill and deployed Bravo to save MMG base. After few minutes Pakistani forces attacked MMG base in which all Pakistani soldiers were killed since we had the prior information and Delta and Charlie captured Tiger Hill.

"Now it was 5.30 pm when I met Lieutenant Balwan. The war of 7 hours. This is how we won Tiger Hill, said Yogendra Yadav."

Yadav, a resident of Aurangabad Ahir under Bulandshahr District UP is a 25-year-old soldier.

While Yogendra and his elder Jitendra are in the Army since December 1996, his younger brother Deepak is studying. Yogendra had lost his father two months ago. His mother Shanmta Devi looks after the family farms. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
When the nation failed a martyr

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Suneel was 22 when he died. He had his whole life ahead of him. He could have turned back and maybe lived to fight another day. What prompted him to stay firm at 17,500 feet and fight on in the face of sure death? Was it the lure of a petrol pump, a plot or flat in a big city, a couple of million rupees in compensation? Obviously not! A soldier fights and dies for the honour of his country and the only befitting reward for this supreme sacrifice is a medal. Why then has Suneel been denied this honour by his country and Army, I ask?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Kalam's unique tribute to '71 war hero </b>
Pioneer News Service / New Delhi
President APJ Abdul Kalam, Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, in a novel way paid tributes on Wednesday to a young 1971 war hero. He made schoolchildren at Vigyan Bhawan take oath to show courage, shun temptation and work for the nation.

Recalling the supreme sacrifice made by armoured corps officer Second Lieutenant Arun Khetrapal in 1971 India-Pakistan war, Dr Kalam asking the students to take the pledge "to strive to work for a prosperous, happy and safe nation".

Delivering a memorial lecture on the theme of Courage in the Face of Adversity, the President said, "I salute his (Khetrapal's) supreme sacrifice and know he will be a role model for all youth, particularly officers and jawans serving in the armed forces."

The 21-year-old Khetrapal was awarded Paramvir Chakra for his heroic deeds in the Shakargarh sector.

The President stood up at the end of his 30-minute lecture, while the vote of thanks was being delivered, and said he wanted the children among the audience to take oath.

The President made the school children repeat after him: <b>"Courage to defend the Nation. Courage to innovate. Courage to invent. Courage to overcome suffering and succeed are the traits that led to growth of human civilisation." </b>

In another touching gesture, Khetrapal's 80-year-old mother M Khetrapal came on the dias to receive a memento from Dr Kalam and hugged him.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Kargil martyrs to be remembered in J&K </b>
Mohit Kandhari | Jammu 
To commemorate the seventh anniversary of 'Operation Vijay', a religious trust from Jammu and Kashmir is organising a nine-day long congregation in Drass sector.

Beginning from July 18 to 26, representatives of all religions will pay tributes to more than 500 martyrs who sacrificed their lives guarding the frontiers of India in 1999 and drove out Pakistan sponsored intruders from their territory.

The event - being organised for the first time - promises to bring families of soldiers who braved all odds against unrepentant enemy on Kargil heights close together to jointly pray for them.

Initially, <b>the NDA government had decided to celebrate the victory of Indian armed forces as 'Vijay diwas' in the memory of the brave soldiers.</b>

According to the chairman of Ati Vishnu Mahayagya samiti Bal Yogeshwar Das, invitation has been extended to supreme commander of the Indian Armed forces President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to join the prayers and offer their tributes to the martyrs.

<b>"Besides President of India, we have also extended invitations to US President George W Bush, and President of Pakistan Pervez Mushraff, former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, leader of the opposition LK Advani, Amitabh Bachan, Sachin Tendulkar, Lata Mangeshkar, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Governor SK Sinha and Indian army chief JJ Singh to participate in the nine-day yagna," </b>Bal Yogeshar Das said at a press conference here on Tuesday.

He, however, could not confirm participation of any one of the high profile VVIPs during the ceremony and expressed hope that senior politicians and army commanders would turn up for the ceremony.

According to him, the yagya will comprise a Hawan, recitations from the Bhagvad Gita, the Quran, the Bible, Guru Granth Sahib and Buddhist prayers.

<b>The yagya will be held at near Tiger Hill, Batra Top, Battalik Hill and Tololing Hill - that witnessed fierce battle between the Indian Army and Pakistan-sponsored intruders.</b>

Families of Parmveer Chakra winners, Captain Vikram Batra, Saurabh Kalia, Lieutenant Manoj Pandey and Army Sena medalist Major Ajay Singh Jasrotiya would also participate in the function.

He also urged Indians to light a lamp on July 26 in the memories of the jawans to pay their tributes.

He said district administration in Kargil has extended all possible facilities to make the event a great success.
<b>Indian Army Kargil War 1999</b> - Video
Enjoy footage
<b>Indian Air Force - Kargil War - Tiger Hill attack</b>. -1999 Video
<b>Kargil 7th anniversary: A hero's father speaks</b>
<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Mother of Martyr Commits Suicide</span>
September 11, 2006. Jaka, Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Smt Savitri Devi, mother of Shaheed Lt. Sarabjeet Singh Dheedhsa, Martyr of Operation Meghdoot, committed suicide here by setting herself on fire. She had been suffering from severe depression for past couple of weeks, her husband Sri Sardar Labh Singh said.

Whole town is stunned by the news. More news is awaited. Despite the protests from angry neighbors, the body has been sent for post mortem by police.

Claude Arpi on Rediff: The soldier who won India's first Param Vir Chakra

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