कैप्टन विक्रम बत्रा ( जन्म- 9 सितंबर, 1974 )
कैप्टन विक्रम बत्रा ( जन्म- 9 सितंबर, 1974 पालमपुर, हिमाचल प्रदेश - शहीद- 7 जुलाई, 1999 कारगिल) परमवीर चक्र से सम्मानित भारत के सैनिक थे। इन्हें यह सम्मान सन् 1999 में मरणोपरांत मिला।
पालमपुर निवासी जी.एल. बत्रा और कमलकांता बत्रा के घर 9 सितंबर, 1974 को दो बेटियों के बाद दो जुड़वां बच्चों का जन्म हुआ। माता कमलकांता की श्रीरामचरितमानस में गहरी श्रद्धा थी तो उन्होंने दोनों का नाम लव-कुश रखा। लव यानी विक्रम और कुश यानी विशाल। पहले डीएवी स्कूल, फिर सेंट्रल स्कूल पालमपुर में दाखिल करवाया गया। सेना छावनी में स्कूल होने से सेना के अनुशासन को देख और पिता से देश प्रेम की कहानियां सुनने पर विक्रम में स्कूल के समय से ही देश प्रेम प्रबल हो उठा। स्कूल में विक्रम शिक्षा के क्षेत्र में ही अव्वल नहीं थे, बल्कि टेबल टेनिस में अव्वल दर्जे के खिलाड़ी होने के साथ उनमें सांस्कृतिक कार्यक्रमों में बढ़-चढ़कर भाग लेने का भी जज़्बा था। जमा दो तक की पढ़ाई करने के बाद विक्रम चंडीगढ़ चले गए और डीएवी कॉलेज चंडीगढ़ में विज्ञान विषय में स्नातक की पढ़ाई शुरू कर दी। इस दौरान वह एनसीसी के सर्वश्रेष्ठ कैडेट चुने गए और उन्होंने गणतंत्र दिवस की परेड में भी भाग लिया। उन्होंने सेना में जाने का पूरा मन बना लिया और सीडीएस (सम्मिलित रक्षा सेवा) की भी तैयारी शुरू कर दी। हालांकि विक्रम को इस दौरान हांगकांग में भारी वेतन में मर्चेन्ट नेवी में भी नौकरी मिल रही थी, लेकिन देश सेवा का सपना लिए विक्रम ने इस नौकरी को ठुकरा दिया।
विज्ञान विषय में स्नातक करने के बाद विक्रम का चयन सीडीएस के जरिए सेना में हो गया। जुलाई 1996 में उन्होंने भारतीय सेना अकादमी देहरादून में प्रवेश लिया। दिसंबर 1997 में शिक्षा समाप्त होने पर उन्हें 6 दिसंबर 1997 को जम्मू के सोपोर नामक स्थान पर सेना की 13 जम्मू-कश्मीर राइफल्स में लेफ्टिनेंट के पद पर नियुक्ति मिली। उन्होंने 1999 में कमांडो ट्रेनिंग के साथ कई प्रशिक्षण भी लिए। 1 जून 1999 को उनकी टुकड़ी को कारगिल युद्ध में भेजा गया। हम्प व राकी नाब स्थानों को जीतने के बाद उसी समय विक्रम को कैप्टन बना दिया गया। इसके बाद श्रीनगर-लेह मार्ग के ठीक ऊपर सबसे महत्त्वपूर्ण 5140 चोटी को पाक सेना से मुक्त करवाने का जिम्मा भी कैप्टन विक्रम बत्रा को दिया गया। बेहद दुर्गम क्षेत्र होने के बावजूद विक्रम बत्रा ने अपने साथियों के साथ 20 जून 1999 को सुबह तीन बजकर 30 मिनट पर इस चोटी को अपने कब्जे में ले लिया।
विक्रम बत्रा ने जब इस चोटी से रेडियो के जरिए अपना विजय उद्घोष ‘यह दिल मांगे मोर’ कहा तो सेना ही नहीं बल्कि पूरे भारत में उनका नाम छा गया। इसी दौरान विक्रम के कोड नाम शेरशाह के साथ ही उन्हें ‘कारगिल का शेर’ की भी संज्ञा दे दी गई। अगले दिन चोटी 5140 में भारतीय झंडे के साथ विक्रम बत्रा और उनकी टीम का फोटो मीडिया में आया तो हर कोई उनका दीवाना हो उठा। इसके बाद सेना ने चोटी 4875 को भी कब्जे में लेने का अभियान शुरू कर दिया। इसकी भी बागडोर विक्रम को सौंपी गई। उन्होंने जान की परवाह न करते हुए लेफ्टिनेंट अनुज नैयर के साथ कई पाकिस्तानी सैनिकों को मौत के घाट उतारा।
कैप्टन के पिता जी.एल. बत्रा कहते हैं कि उनके बेटे के कमांडिंग ऑफिसर लेफ्टीनेंट कर्नल वाय.के.जोशी ने विक्रम को शेर शाह उपनाम से नवाजा था।
मिशन लगभग पूरा हो चुका था जब कैप्टन अपने कनिष्ठ अधिकारी लेफ्टीनेंट नवीन को बचाने के लिये लपके। लड़ाई के दौरान एक विस्फोट में लेफ्टीनेंट नवीन के दोनों पैर बुरी तरह जख्मी हो गये थे। जब कैप्टन बत्रा लेफ्टीनेंट को बचाने के लिए पीछे घसीट रहे थे तब उनकी की छाती में गोली लगी और वे “जय माता दी” कहते हुये वीरगति को प्राप्त हुये।
16 जून को कैप्टन ने अपने जुड़वां भाई विशाल को द्रास सेक्टर से चिट्ठी में लिखा –“प्रिय कुशु, माँ और पिताजी का ख्याल रखना ... यहाँ कुछ भी हो सकता है।”
अदम्य साहस और पराक्रम के लिए कैप्टन विक्रम बत्रा को 15 अगस्त, 1999 को परमवीर चक्र के सम्मान से नवाजा गया जो उनके पिता जी.एल. बत्रा ने प्राप्त किया। विक्रम बत्रा ने 18 वर्ष की आयु में ही अपने नेत्र दान करने का निर्णय ले लिया था। वह नेत्र बैंक के कार्ड को हमेशा अपने पास रखते थे।
Captain Vikram Batra, PVC (9 September 1974 – 7 July 1999) was an officer of the Indian Army, posthumously awarded with the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest and most prestigious award for valour, for his actions during the 1999 Kargil War in Kashmir between India and Pakistan. He led one of the toughest operations in mountain warfare in Indian history. He was often referred to as ‘'Sher Shah'’ ("Lion King") in the intercepted messages of the Pakistan Army.
Batra was born on 9 September 1974, in a small town in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India. He was the third child of Girdhari Lal Batra, a government school principal, and Kamal Kanta Batra, a school teacher. He was the elder of twin sons, and was born fourteen minutes before his brother, named Vishal. The twins were nicknamed: 'Luv' (Vikram) and 'Kush' (Vishal), after the twin sons of Lord Rama, by their mother as she was a staunch believer in Lord Rama. He had two sisters: Seema and Nutan (also called Neetu). He got his primary education from his mother, who herself was a teacher. He then attended the D.A.V. Public School in Palampur, where he studied up to middle standard. He received his senior secondary education at Central School, Palampur.
Besides being brilliant at studies, Batra was a keen sportsman and represented his school at the national level during the Youth Parliamentary competitions at Delhi. He excelled at many sports and represented his school and college in table tennis, Karate and other such games. However, it was in the table tennis where he truly excelled. In 1990, he and his twin brother represented their school in table tennis at All India KVS Nationals. He also was a green belt holder in Karate and went on to attend a national level camp in Manali.
After completing his Class XII board examinations in 1992 from Central School with high marks (82 percent), he attended DAV College, Chandigarh in B.Sc Medical Sciences. At college, he joined the Air Wing of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) while he was in the first year. During the Inter-State NCC Camp, he was adjudged the best NCC Air Wing cadet of Punjab Directorate in North Zone. He was selected and underwent a 40-day paratrooping training with his NCC Air Wing unit at Pinjore Airfield and Flying Club, about 35 kilometres away from Chandigarh.During the next two years in DAV, he remained a cadet of the Army Wing of NCC. In addition, he was the president of the Youth Service Club of his college.
He afterward qualified for the 'C' certificate in the NCC and attained the rank of Senior Under Officer in his NCC unit. Subsequently, in 1994, he was selected and took part in the Republic Day parade as a NCC cadet, and when he came back home, he told his parents that he wanted to join the Army.His maternal grandfather was also a soldier in the Indian Army. In 1995, while still in college, he was selected for the merchant navy at a shipping company headquartered in Hong Kong, but ultimately 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, which may bring fame to my country." That same year he completed his Bachelor's degree, graduating from the DAV College in Chandigarh.
Following completion of his Bachelor's degree in 1995, he enrolled at Panjab University in Chandigarh, where he took admission in MA English course, so that he could prepare for the "Combined Defence Services" (CDS) Examination.He attended evening classes at the University and worked part-time in the morning as a branch manager of a travelling agency in Chandigarh."I do not want to be a burden on you, dad," he had told his father.
In 1996, he passed the CDS examination and subsequently received a call for interview at the Services Selection Board (SSB) at Allahabad and got selected.He was among the top 35 candidates in the Order of Merit. After completing a year (session 1995—96) toward the degree of MA in English, he left the University to join the Indian Military Academy.
In the words of his father,
Vikram had found his purpose in life. He had found the way to a righteous path that would lead him to his goal — to a service that was extraordinarily high and supreme.
Batra joined the Indian Military Academy (IMA) at Dehradun, in June 1996 in the Manekshaw Battalion. After completing his 19-month training course, he passed out from the IMA on 6 December 1997 and was commissioned as a lieutenant into the Indian Army. He was commissioned into the 13th battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles (13 JAK Rif). After commissioning, he was sent to Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh for regimental training. The training lasted one month, from December, 1997 to the end of January, 1998.
On completion of this training he got his first posting at Sopore in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, an area with significant militant activity.In mid-March 1998, he was sent to the Infantry School at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, where young Army officers are trained, for the Young Officer's Course. This training lasted five months until September 1998. Following completion of the course and being awarded alpha grading, he joined his battalion in Sopore in October 1998.
During his posting in Sopore, Batra had several encounters with militants. In one of those encounters when Batra was leading an ambush with his platoon into an area of dense forest, he had a miraculous escape when a bullet fired by a militant grazed his shoulder and struck one of Batra's men behind him, killing the soldier. Believing that the bullet was meant for him and not his colleague, he ordered his men to nab the militants, and by morning all of the militants were killed. Batra, however, was saddened, because he knew that the bullet was meant for him. "Didi, it was meant for me and I lost my man," he had told his elder sister over the phone.
In January 1999, Batra was sent on a Commando Course at Belgaum, Karnataka where he excelled. The course lasted for two months and at the end of it, he was awarded the highest grading — the Instructor's Grade.
Every time when he came home to Palampur on leave, he would visit the Neugal Cafe. Batra last came home on leave from the army in 1999, during the Holi festival for a few days. During that time, when he went to the Café for a coffee, he met an acquaintance who 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.
The town of Dras, the second coldest inhabited place in the world after Siberia, where temperature fall as low as –60 degrees Celsius in winter.
After his leave, he returned to join his battalion in Sopore. The 13 JAK Rif, after completing its CI Ops (counter-insurgency operations) tenure in Kashmir under 192 Mountain Brigade of 8 Mountain Division, received orders to proceed to Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The battalion's advance party under Major Yogesh Kumar Joshi had reached its destination, when on 5 June, because of the outbreak of the war, its deployment orders were changed and the battalion received orders to move to Dras.
Batra informed his parents about his movement and assured them that they need not worry about him. He would call his parents at least once in ten days. The last phone call he made was on 29 June 1999, in which he said "Mommy, ek dum fit hoon, fikar mat karna", ("I'm absolutely fine. Don't you worry.") This was the last time that Batra spoke to his mother.
Batra's battalion, the 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles (13 JAK Rif), reached Dras on 6 June, was placed under the command of 56 Mountain Brigade, and was given orders to act as reserves to the 2nd battalion of the Rajputana Rifles (2 Raj Rif) during their attack on Tololing mountain. The 18th battalion of The Grenadiers (18 Grenadiers) first attacked Tololing on 22 May, but were unable to capture the peak. 18 Grenadiers made four attempts to capture Tololing, but could only succeed in securing the lower slopes, while suffering heavy casualties. Eventually, 2 Raj Rif was assigned the mission of capturing Tololing and they did so on 13 June 1999.
After the capture of Tololing, 13 JAK Rif marched from Dras to Tololing, reaching their destination in 12 hours. Upon reaching, Alpha company of 13 JAK Rif took over Tololing and a portion of the Hump Complex from 18 Grenadiers.
Param Vir Chakra
Captain Vikram Batra was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military honor on 15 August 1999, the 52nd anniversary of India's independence. His father Mr. G.L. Batra received the honor for his deceased son from the President of India, the late K. R. Narayanan.