On July 26, 2016, India will observe the seventeenth anniversary of the Kargil War, a war for which it was least prepared in 1999. Here is a lowdown of how Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated.
The Kargil War was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and elsewhere along the Line of Control (LOC). In India, the conflict is also referred to as Operation Vijay which was the name of the Indian operation to clear the Kargil sector.
Indian armed forces officers salute in front of the Kargil War Memorial in honour of the Kargil war in the Drass sector of Ladakh. File pic
It was fought in the summer of 1999 to evict Pakistani regular forces who had intruded and occupied vacated posts on the Indian side of the Line of Control. More than 520 Indian soldiers sacrificed their lives during one of the toughest wars fought against Pakistan at Kargil, Drass and Batalik sectors of Jammu and Kashmir state.
July 26 was declared as Vijay Divas, and the way in which the Indian Armed Forces fought the war and tried to ensure that it did not escalate into a nuclear conflict, has been acclaimed the world over.
Indian army band members perform during 'Vijay Diwas' or 'Victory Day' celebrations in Drass. File Pic
To commemorate the occasion, The Indian Army celebrates 'Vijay Diwas' annually in memory of more than 500 fellow soldiers who were killed in in 1999 during a conflict with Pakistan in the mountains of Kargil and Drass sectors, at the Line of Control.
The celebrations include pipe band and brass band display which is followed by a beating retreat ceremony.
The army holds a memorial service at the Kargil War Memorial which is followed by lighting of lamps and wreath laying ceremony.