Major Vivek Gupta of the Rajputana Rifles – 2nd Battalion and his company were sent to recapture Point 4590 on Tololing Hill in the Dras sector. Major was ordered to capture the enemy post located at high altitude (15000 feet).
The team was combined of Major Vivek Gupta, Subedar Bhanwar Lal Bhakar, Subedar Surendra Singh Rathor, Lance Naik Jasvir Singh, Naik Surendra, Naik Chaman Singh Tewatia, Lans Naik Bachchan Singh, CMH Jashvir Singh,Havaldar Sultan Singh Narwar and Digendra Kumar. Digendra Kumar commanded the Light Machine Gun Group.
How the battalion reached the hill?
Capturing Tololing hill was very essential to win the Kargil war. So General Malik called a meeting of the Rajputana Rifles at Gumri and explained the situation. Digendra Kumar introduced himself as Cobra, a commando of Indian Army and explained his strategy to capture the hill. Looking at the enthusiasm and the strategy of Digendra Kumar, General Malik was impressed. Along with the various requirements for the mission, Digendra also demanded injections of high power that could remove fatigue. Before climbing, he assessed the hill with the help of binoculars.
The previous day of the mission, at forenoon General Malik said that “Son! Accept congratulations of V. P. Malik 48 hours in advance of our success. Son! If we win the Kargil, Malik himself will bring breakfast for you tomorrow morning”
Majority Kargil hills were acquired by the Pakistan army. India had to recapture it to have an upper hand in the war
The battle began:
The battalion cautiously moved ahead with all the equipments. With the help of nails and the rope they climbed the rock. They even took injections whenever it was required. Climbing of hills was so difficult that whenever their hands stopped working, they gripped the rope with their teeth. Finally they reached the Tololing hill after 16 hours. Actually the target time was 24hours. Such was the motivation within the soldiers to protect our motherland.
Kumar had to destroy the first and the last bunkers of Pakistan out of their 11 bunkers. Demolishing remaining bunkers was the job of remaining Indian soldiers.
Indian soldiers started to attack; Digendra successfully destroyed the first bunker. Pakistan Army also fired at the Indian soldiers. Soon three bullets hit his chest and was badly wounded. His upper body faced 18 bullets, his shoes were missing and his uniform was torn away. He also realised that the LMG was also missing in the fierce battle.
Subedar Bhanwar Lal Bhakar, Lance Naik Jasvir Singh, Naik Surendra, and Naik Chaman Singh were martyred. Digendra was given a pistol from Lans Naik Bachhan Singh, and a grenade from Sultan Singh. Major Vivek Gupta was also martyred with a bullet in the head.
Digendra hurled the grenades in the other bunker successfully destroying all bunkers. He threw 18 grenades into 11 bunkers. Major Anwar Khan, from the enemy camp, appeared over Digendra, who had only one bullet remaining. He shot Khan and dislodged his pistol from his hands. Not realizing he was out of bullets, Digendra tried to shoot with the pistol but in vain. He immediately jumped on him and killed him.
Finally, Digendra recaptured the top of the hill and hoisted the Indian tri-colour flag on 13 June 1999 at four O’clock in the morning.
Digendra Kumar, the Indian commando killed 48 Pakistani soldiers single handedly at the Kargil war,1999. This is a motivating incident from the Kargil war which every youth should remember.
Why he got the name Cobra?
Digendra was even sent to Sri Lanka sent by Indian Army as a part peace keeping force. There he was a personal body guard of a General. When these were sitting in an open Army jeep in Lanka, a LTTE terrorist slowly threw a grenade at their Jeep. But Digendra Kumar caught the grenade before it could blast and threw it at the LTTE terrorist. The grenade got bursted and the terrorist’s head was blown off into pieces. Digendra’s team member said that this soldier is dangerous than a Cobra. So since he is Digendra is known as Cobra.