Indian Army Launches D5 Motorcycle Expedition to Honor 25th Anniversary of Kargil Victory

The Kargil War, also termed the Kargil conflict, happened between May and July 1999, pitting India against Pakistan in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir and along the Line of Control (LoC).

Marking a quarter-century since the victorious Kargil War, the Indian Army has embarked on a nationwide motorcycle expedition to pay homage to the valor and sacrifices of the soldiers who fought in the conflict.

The expedition, initiated by the Ministry of Defence, aims to celebrate and honour the immense contributions of the brave soldiers. The journey features three teams of eight motorcyclists each, setting off from different corners of India: Dinjan in the East, Dwarka in the West, and Dhanushkodi in the South.

Covering diverse terrains and challenging routes, these riders symbolize the unity and resilience of the Armed Forces. Along their journey, they will visit Kargil War heroes, veterans, and “Veer Naris” (war widows) living along the routes. Additionally, they will pay respects at war memorials, raise awareness, and inspire youth to join the Indian Army.

The eastern route spans approximately 2,489 kilometres, starting from Dinjan and passing through Jorhat, Guwahati, Binaguri, Katihar, Danapur, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, and Agra, before reaching Delhi. The western route covers about 1,565 kilometres, starting from Dwarka and travelling through Dhrangadhra, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Jaipur, and Alwar, ending in Delhi. The southern route, the longest at approximately 2,963 kilometres, starts from Dhanushkodi and passes through Madurai, Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Anantapur, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bhopal, Gwalior, and Alwar, concluding in Delhi.

The teams are scheduled to converge in Delhi on June 26, after which they will proceed to Dras via two different routes. One route, covering 1,085 kilometres, goes through Ambala, Amritsar, Jammu, Udhampur, and Srinagar. The other, spanning 1,509 kilometres, passes through Chandimandir, Manali, Sarchu, Nyoma, Tangtse, and Leh.

The expedition will culminate at Gun Hill in Dras, a site of significant strategic importance during the Kargil War. This final segment of the journey is not only a commemoration of past bravery but also a testament to the enduring spirit and dedication of the Indian soldiers.

Flag-off and flag-in ceremonies at prominent locations will feature senior military officials, veterans, “Veer Naris,” and other distinguished guests, who will honour and encourage the riders. Kargil War veterans and “Veer Naris” will also be recognized for their sacrifices and unwavering support during the conflict.

Led by the Regiment of Artillery, which played a crucial role in Operation Vijay, the expedition underscores the artillery’s precision, firepower, and strategic importance in the war’s outcome. As these motorcyclists traverse the country, they carry with them stories of courage, sacrifice, and patriotism, symbolizing the enduring spirit of the Indian Army.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT KARGIL WAR

The Kargil War, also termed the Kargil conflict, happened between May and July 1999, pitting India against Pakistan in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir and along the Line of Control (LoC). In India, it is also known as Operation Vijay, denoting the Indian military’s operation in the region. The Indian Air Force collaborated with the Indian Army in Operation Safed Sagar to evict the Pakistan Army and paramilitary troops from vacated Indian positions along the LoC.

The conflict erupted when Pakistani troops infiltrated strategic positions on the Indian side of the LoC, masquerading as Kashmiri militants. Initially, Pakistan attributed the fighting to independent Kashmiri insurgents, but evidence such as documents left by casualties and statements from Pakistan’s Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff revealed the involvement of Pakistani paramilitary forces under General Ashraf Rashid. Eventually, with support from the Indian Air Force, the Indian Army recaptured most of the positions. Despite facing international diplomatic pressure, Pakistani forces withdrew from all remaining Indian positions along the LoC.

The Kargil War stands out as a recent example of high-altitude warfare in mountainous regions, presenting significant logistical challenges for both sides. It is noteworthy as one of the rare instances of conventional warfare between nuclear-armed states, alongside the Sino-Soviet border conflict. India conducted its first successful nuclear test in 1974, while Pakistan, which had been clandestinely developing its nuclear capability since a similar period, carried out its first known tests in 1998, shortly after India’s second series of tests.