Kargil War 1999: Point 5140 in Drass renamed as Gun Hill
Kargil War 1999: Point 5140 in Drass, Kargil Sector was renamed as ‘Gun Hill’ on July 30, 2022 to commemorate the victory of the Indian Armed forces and pay homage to the supreme sacrifice of the Gunners in ‘Operation Vijay’ during the 1999 Kargil War.
A ceremony was conducted on the occasion at the Kargil War Memorial, Dras in the presence of veterans from all artillery regiments, which got ‘Kargil’ honour title in Operation Vijay. A wreath was laid by Lieutenant General TK Chawla, Director General of Artillery on behalf of the Regiment of Artillery. The serving officers of the gunner fraternity were also present on the occasion.
The capture of Point 5140 was the key factor in the early completion of operations in the 1999 Kargil war. The Artillery regiment with its lethal and accurate firepower had a major effect on the enemy troops and their defences, by focusing lethal fire on the enemy and their strong points like point 5140.
The Indian Army announced the successful culmination of ‘Operation Vijay’ on July 26, 1999, declaring the end of a nearly three-month-long battle with Pakistani troops in Kargil, Ladakh.
Capture of Point 5140
The task of capturing Point 5140, which is a strategically important mountain peak in the Dras sector, was assigned to 13 JAK Rifles under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Yogesh Kumar Joshi. Point 5140 is the highest point on the Tololing ridgeline. It is the most formidable feature in the Dras sub-sector.
Lieutenant Colonel Yogesh Kumar Joshi decided to attack Point 5140 with Bravo Company and Delta Company. While Lieutenant Sanjeev Singh Jamwal led Bravo Company, the Delta Company was led by the then Lieutenant Vikram Batra.
Both B and D Companies reached near Point 5140 under the cover of artillery fire after midnight on June 20, 1999 despite treacherous terrain. While B company reached the top of the feature first and carried out its assault from the left flank, the D Company under Vikram Batra decided to approach the hill from the rear, aiming to surprise the enemy and cut off their withdrawal route.
Vikram Batra was seriously injured in the process of capturing Point 5140 which involved single-handed close combat with enemy soldiers but he and his company managed to capture Point 5140 successfully and he radioed his command post, saying his famous line words “Yeh dil mange more!”.
A considerable amount of arms and ammunition were recovered from the feature. Fortunately, both B and D companies did not have any casualties in the capture of the hill. Vikram Batra was promoted to the rank of captain after the capture of Point 5140.
The capture of Point 5140 set about several other crucial victories including capture of Point 5100, Point 4700, Junction Peak and Three Pimple Complex.