It was 12 JAK LI, which after its first successful assault operation between June 7 and 9 provided a firm base for the Indian defence forces to throw back infiltrators from our territory. The battalion continues to hold its fort in the Batalik sector. After initial probing through regular patrols, the battalion mounted its first major assault on feature 5203 in the Batalik sector on June 7.
The attack was mounted north of the Sindh river to capture the immediate dominating heights. It was during this operation that Capt Amol Kalia along with his Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), Subedar Bahadur Singh, in an exemplary display of valour, bravery and courage, made the supreme sacrifice. Besides them, 12 other ranks (ORs) also laid down their lives. An equal number of men and officers from the battalion were injured.
The success at point 5209 was the first major triumph for the Indian forces in the Batalik sector.
Anju Bala lost her father Subedar Bahadur Singh whose desire was to see his daughter joining the Army as an officer.
Their house at Digiana, 12 km from Jammu, situated on the Jammu-Pathankot national highway could easily be located. The market on the highway remained closed the day the news of his death came.
Subedar Bahadur Singh was also on his way to Delhi after completing his two-year tenure at the Bana post in Siachen. An advance party had already left for Delhi when they were asked to go to Kargil, said his son Pawan Kumar (24), adding that they had no information regarding the whereabouts of their father since he had left Jammu in March this year after spending 20 days with his family. "There was no letter or money order from his side since then," informed Rachpal Singh, younger brother of Subedar Bahadur Singh. He said they were expecting him on his way to Delhi but his body came instead.
The soldier had also discussed his future plans with his family members as he had only six months left to complete his service. Father of three children, he always encouraged his daughter to join the Army as an officer. Besides, he had told his son Pawan that he would send him to join the Army after his retirement.
Throwing light on his father's supreme sacrifice, Pawan said Captain Kalia had hand-picked men for his mission to clear one of the Batalik peaks from the intruders. Subedar Bahadur Singh was however given the choice to forego the mission keeping in view his slight fatness. But the valiant soldier had replied, "How can I let go the opportunity provided to me for the first time in 28 years?"
Pawan informed that his father had succeeded in climbing the hill and killing the intruders along with his colleagues. In this action, Sepoy Rajinder Singh of Basohli (Kathua District) had got injured. Bahadur Singh tried to evacuate his injured colleague manning the light machine gun. He had also succeeded in communicating to his officers at the base about the success of the mission and Captain Kalia's death as he had seen him falling to a volley of bullets fired by the militants. He was asking them to send more reinforcements when he was shot by a telescopic gun," said Pawan.