Age: 24 Years
Girlfriend: Dimple Cheema
Hometown: Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
Some Lesser Known Facts About Captain Vikram Batra
- Captain Vikram Batra was born in a small town in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh.
- His parents were in the teaching profession.
- He was born as the third child of his parents.
- He was the elder of twin sons as he was born 14 minutes earlier to his twin brother Vishal.
- The twins were named as “Luv” (Vikram) and “Kush” (Vishal) after the sons of Lord Rama.
- He attained his primary education from his mother.
- Besides being a brilliant student, he was also a great sportsperson and represented his school at the National level during the Youth Parliamentary Competitions held at Delhi.
- In 1990, Vikram and his twin brother represented their school in Table Tennis at the All India KVS Nationals.
- He was also very good at Karate and won a Green Belt at a National level camp in Manali.
- He passed his Class 12 Board Examination in 1992 with 82% marks.
- While studying at the DAV College in Chandigarh, he joined the Air Wing of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and was adjudged the best NCC Air Wing Cadet of Punjab Directorate in North Zone.
- He was also the president of the Youth Service Club of his college.
- After being qualified for the ‘C’ certificate in the NCC, Vikram attained the rank of Senior Under Officer in his NCC unit.
- In 1994, he was selected to represent his college in the Republic Day Parade as an NCC Cadet.
- While still in college, Vikram was selected for the Merchant Navy in 1995 at a shipping company headquartered in Hong Kong. However, he declined the offer telling his mother “Money is not everything in life; I have to do something bigger in life, something great, something extraordinary, which may bring fame to my country.”
- In 1995, after completing his Bachelor’s Degree, he enrolled in an MA English course at Panjab University in Chandigarh.
- While studying at the Panjab University, he also worked part-time as a Branch Manager of a Travelling Agency in Chandigarh. Once he told his father- “I do not want to be a burden on you, dad.”
- In 1995, it was there at the Panjab University that he met Dimple Cheema who also got her enrolled in the MA English course. Soon, they fell in love. On one meeting, when she expressed her fear of getting married to Vikram, he took out a blade from his wallet, made a cut on his finger and filled her ‘Maang’ with his blood.
- In 1996, he passed the CDS Examination and was called for an interview at the Services Selection Board (SSB) at Allahabad and got selected. In the Order of Merit, Vikram was among the top 35 candidates.
- After studying for one year (1995-96) at the Panjab University, he left it to join the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun.
- In June 1996, Vikram joined the Manekshaw Battalion at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun.
- On 6 December 1997, after finishing his 19-month training course, Vikram passed out from the IMA and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Indian Army.
- Vikram was commissioned into the 13th Battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles (13 JAK Rif).
- After completing his regimental training from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, he got his 1st posting at Sopore in Baramulla District of Jammu and Kashmir (an area with significant militant activity).
- During his posting in Sopore, Vikram had several encounters with militants. In one such encounter, he had a narrow escape as a bullet fired by a militant struck one of Batra’s men behind him, killing the soldier. The incident filled him with grief, and by the morning, he nabbed all the militants and killed them. While talking to his sister about the incident, Batra said, “Didi, it was meant to me, and I lost my man.”
- While on leave, every time he would visit the Neugal Cafe in his hometown in Palampur.
- He last visited his hometown in 1999, during the Holing festival.
- In 1999, when the Kargil War was on the verge, one of his acquaintances told him to be careful in the war, to which Batra replied: “I’ll either come back after raising the Indian flag in victory or return wrapped in it. But I’ll come for sure.”
- In June 1999, he received orders to proceed to Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. However, on 5 June 1999, due to the outbreak of the Kargil War, his deployment orders were changed, and his battalion received orders to move to Dras.
- While leaving for the Kargil War, he assured his parents that he would call them at least once in 10 days.
- On 29 June 1999, he made his last phone call to his mother, in which he said, “Mommy, Ek Dum Fit Hoon, Fikar Mat Karna”, (“I’m absolutely fine. Don’t you worry.”).
- On 6 June 1999, he reached Drass and was placed under the command of 56 Mountain Brigade.
- On 18 June 1999, 13 JAK Rif under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Yogesh Kumar Joshi, carried out a detailed reconnaissance of capturing Point 5140 (a strategically important mountain peak in the Dras sector).
- Joshi decided to attack Point 5140 with Delta Company, under the command of Lieutenant Vikram Batra and Bravo Company, under the command of Lieutenant Sanjeev Singh Jamwal, from two sides- South and East. During the briefing, Batra chose the words “Yeh Dil Mange More!” to be the success signal for his company whilst Jamwal chose the words “Oh! Yeah, yeah, yeah!” as his success signal for his company. During the Operation, Batra killed 3 enemy soldiers single-handedly in close combat and got seriously injured in the process. However, he continued the Operation until he captured the Point 5140. At 0435 hours, in his radio command post, he said- “Yeh Dil Mange More!” The most commendable achievement of the Operation was that not even a single soldier died in operation.
- After the capture of Point 5140, he was promoted to the rank of Captain. All over the Nation, Batra’s triumph was being discussed on television screens.
- Batra’s next assignment was to capture the Point 4875 (a strategically important peak located in the Mushkoh Valley). On 4 July 1999, 13 JAK Rifles had launched its attack on the Point 4875. However, Captain Vikram Batra was lying in a sleeping bag in a tent near the Mushkoh nullah as he was down with fever and fatigue. During the Operation, Captain Nagappa who was shooting at the advancing Pakistani soldiers got seriously injured by a shell fired by the Pakistani soldiers. Taking the advantage; Pakistani soldiers started climbing faster. To this, Captain Batra, who was silently observing the situation from the base, approached his commanding officer and volunteered, saying the words “I’ll go up sir.” However, the Commanding Officer didn’t let him go as he was ill.
- Seeing Batra’s determination to capture Point 4875, several soldiers volunteered to accompany him. On the night of 6-7 July 1999, when Batra was marching ahead with 25 Delta Soldiers, Pakistani soldiers intercepted the Indian Army’s wireless message which read “Sher Shah (Batra’s code name) was coming.” Verbal exchanges continued throughout the night. During the Operation, Batra killed 5 Pakistani soldiers in a close-quarter battle.
- Suddenly, he realized that one of his soldiers had been shot. He tried to evacuate him with the help of Subedar Raghunath Singh. Batra pushed the JCO toward the safer side saying- “You have a family and children to go back to, I’m not even married. Main Sar Ki Taraf Rahunga Aur Aap Paanv Uthayenge.” During the process, he exposed himself to enemy fire and was shot in the chest by an enemy sniper from very close range. The very next second a split hit him in the head by a splinter from an RPG. Captain Batra collapsed next to the injured soldier and succumbed to his injuries.
- On 15 August 1999, Captain Vikram Batra was awarded India’s highest Gallantry Award- Param Vir Chakra. His father, Mr. G.L. Batra, received the honour for his deceased son from K. R. Narayanan (the then President of India).
- In the 2003 Hindi Film- LOC Kargil, Abhishek Bachchan played the role of Captain Vikram Batra.
- The historic capture of point 4875 has been named as “Batra Top” in his honour.
- A hall at Service Selection Center in Allahabad has been named as ‘Vikram Batra Block’ in his honour.
- At the Jabalpur Cantonment, a residential area has been named as ‘Captain Vikram Batra Enclave.’
- IMA’s Combined Cadet Mess has also been named as ‘Vikram Batra Mess.’
- At his alma matter DAV College in Chandigarh, a memorial for war veterans including Captain Batra has been displayed.
- According to sources, a biopic on Captain Vikram Batra is going to be made in which Sidharth Malhotra may play the role of Captain Vikram Batra.
- Here’s an interesting video about Vikram Batra’s biography:
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