The Param Vir Chakra was established on 26th January 1950. It is given for the highest and bravest act of valor in the presence of the enemy. Till date, only 21 Indian soldiers have been awarded this honor. Out of which 20 were from the Indian Army and one from the Air force. Each of the winners has an extreme story of bravery and self sacrifice to tell. Such, martyrs are few and unheard of in the present times. To sacrifice your life for the nation is considered the extreme act of patriotism. Here is a list of four such heroes who laid down their lives for the country.
4. Captain. Vikram Batra:
Born on 9th September, 1974 in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, he was from a humble middle class background. He was selected at Indian Military Academy Dehradun in 1996. He was commissioned in the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles at Sopore, as a Lieutenant. He soon rose to the rank of Captain. On 1st June 1999, he was posted in Kargil, after the start of a war like situation with Pakistan in that area. From the sub sectors of Drass and Batalik he was sent to capture the significant peak point 5140. Nicknamed Sher Shah, he along with his Delta Company decided to attack the enemy by surprise from the rear. As they neared the top of the sheer cliff edge, the enemy was alerted and started fire from machine guns on them. Regardless of their safety the team under his motivation kept moving and blew the machine gun post by hurling two grenades. Despite being seriously injured he inspired his team to fulfill their mission. The point 5140 was captured at 3-30am on 20th June, 1999.
3. Captain. Manoj Kumar Pandey:
Born on 25th June, 1975, Sitapur Uttar Pradesh, he was the eldest in the family and from a middle class background. He was a keen sportsman since childhood and graduated from NDA in the 90th course, and joined Gorkha Rifles. Destiny had planted a fire for PVC since his teen years, as he had quoted in his SSB interview that he wanted to join the army to win PVC. He had taken an active part in many attacks during the Kargil War. On the night of 2-3rd July, he was leading his platoon with the objective of clearing Jubar Top, which was a very strategic point in the war. On being fired upon by the army, while still on a narrow ledge, he showed exceptional courage. He let out a battle cry and charged on the enemy and inspired his troops to display bravery, too. He killed two enemy soldiers in a hand combat and went on to capture the point. However, due to critical bullet wounds, he went down as a martyr for the country.
2. Naib Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav:
Born in Aurangabad village, Uttar Pradesh, he was awarded PVC, for exemplary courage in the face of an enemy attack. Commissioned in the 18 Grenadiers regiment, his platoon was part of the Ghatak commando tasked to capture three bunkers on Tiger Hill. On the morning of 4th July, 1999 at the height of 16,500 feet the platoon was to reach the top of a snow covered cliff. He volunteered to fix the rope for the soldiers to reach the top. He was fired upon by machine guns and rockets and sustained bullet wounds on his groin and shoulder. Despite injuries he reached the top and killed four Pakistani soldiers and neutralized fire. He killed another four in a hand combat and put an end to the automatic fire. Despite his injuries he inspired others to charge and displayed grit and determination under an extreme situation.
1. Rifleman Sanjay Kumar:
Of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, Sanjay Kumar was born in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh. He was awarded PVC, for showing unusual display of grit, gallantry and determination in the face of enemy attack. While leading a team as a scout he was given the task of capturing Area Flat Top on 4th July, 1999. After reaching the top of the cliff, they were faced with fire from a machine gun only 150 metres away. Assessing the detrimental effect of the fire, he crawled up the ledge and charged towards a bunker all alone. He was hit in the chest and forearm and started bleeding profusely. He managed to kill three soldiers in hand combat and others in a second bunker by firing on them with a machine gun. His act of bravery inspired his platoon, to capture Area Flat top.