The Victory Flame, commemorating 20 years of successful termination of Operation VIJAY, was ignited from the eternal flame at National War Memorial, New Delhi.
The flame will be carried by a team of motorcyclists over 11 towns and cities to finally merge with the flame at Kargil War Memorial, Dras. Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh was the Chief Guest for the event. "I give my heartfelt to condolences to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives to safeguard and serve the country," Rajnath Singh said after lighting the Victory Flame
"I salute all the martyrs on the occasion of the lighting of the Victory Flame in the memory of the martyrs of the Kargil War. The country is forever indebted to the valour our soldiers during this occasion," wrote Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
A number of events have been planned by the Army in Delhi and Dras in Jammu and Kashmir next month to mark the 20th anniversary of the 'Kargil Vijay Diwas'. The anniversary celebrations for this year is spread over three days from July 25-27. "However, as part of the build-up to the main event, numerous activities have been planned to be organised all over the country from the first week of July," an official said.
The celebrations in the national capital begans on July 14 with the illumination of a Victory Flame. The 20th anniversary of the victory is being celebrated with the theme 'Remember, Rejoice and Renew. "We 'remember' our martyrs, by revisiting the sacrifices and instilling pride and respect among us, we 'rejoice' by celebrating the victory in Kargil and we 'renew' our resolve to safeguard the honour of the tricolour," the Army said. The objective of these celebrations is to evoke feeling of nationalism and patriotism through nationwide campaigns especially amongst youth and to pay homage to the valiant soldiers.
The Kargil war was declared over on July 26, 1999, after Indian soldiers pushed back the Pakistani troops, a bulk of them drawn from the neighbouring country's Northern Light Infantry, from the captured peaks. The day is observed as 'Kargil Vijay Diwas' to commemorate India's victory.
(With PTI inputs)