Yash Vir Singh Tomar
Havildar Yash Vir Singh Tomar (4.1.1960-13.6.1999) , Vir Chakra, Aged 39, from Sirsali village in Bagpat district Uttar Pradesh died on 12 June 1999 in Kargil War. He was in Unit-2 Rajputana Rifles. He was by Maj Vivek Gupta's side when the party was in the final stages of capturing Point 4950. Fierce combat ensued during the mission and the strategic hill at Tololing was wrested from the Pakistanis, but only after the loss of this and many other brave soldiers.
Fierce fighting is going on and the outcome is in God's hands." So wrote Havildar Yashbir Singh to his father, Chaudhary Girbar Singh, in a letter that came on June 8. The next day came the news that Yashbir was dead. Yashbir and his mates had been fighting for six days at an height of 17,000 feet trying to capture an enemy post near Point 5140. The post had 60 Pakistanis.
A bullet hit Yashbir in the temple; the second pierced his left arm and the third his chest. Five others died with him. But by the dawn the post had fallen in the hands of the Indians.
For Yashbir's parents, wife Manesh Devi and children, Uday and Pankaj, life will never be the same again. His younger brother Harvir was also serving in Kargil.
Kargil War : The Battle of Tololing
In the early days of May 1999, after patrols sent in the mountains of Tololing disappeared, 18 Grenadiers were given orders to evict the intruders. Tololing, a naked mountain, loomed large rising to 16000 feet, overlooking the town of Drass. With no cover, a single steep track led to the top zig zagging along a narrow path. There was absolutely no cover for climbing troops. From this vantage point, the enemy brought in heavy artillery fire on the National Highway NH 1A which was closest at this point.
After several unsuccessful attempts a fresh battalion the 2nd Rajputana Rifles was brought in for the assault. The Grenadiers consolidated at 3 points, 300 metres below the Pakistani positions thus providing a foothold to launch the attack from. The 2nd Raputana Rifles meanwhile fired and tested weapons, carried on reconnaissance and mock assaults on nearby ridges. About 90 volunteers led by Major Vivek Gupta were assembled for the final assault. Among them were 11 Tomars and Hav Yashvir Singh Tomar was one of them. He said somberly “Sahib gyarah ja rahe hain aur gyarah jeet kar lautenge(Sir, 11 Tomars are going and 11 will return victorious)”.
On 12 June 1999, at 1830 hours 120 artillery guns opened up on Tololing top. The Bofors 155 mm guns started first. Used in direct fire mode they targeted the bunkers. Within minutes they were followed by the 130 mm and 105 mm guns. Shell after shell slammed into the ridges. As the expected Pakistani counter bombardment started, the 155 mm guns switched to firing across the LOC at Pakistani gun positions located by the para commandos. The Pakistani guns were soon put out of action and were relegated to occasional shells. When ,close to midnight the firing stopped, Major Vivek Gupta led his men with the battle cry “Raja Ramchandra ki Jai”. There were 3 teams code names “Abhimanyu”, “Bheem” and “Arjun”. One went straight up. Another went around a lower ridge to cut off the enemy’s retreat and a third from behind. The Grenadiers provided covering fire against the Pakistanis on the nearby ridges.
In spite of the artillery ,there were still strong pockets of Pakistani troops in natural caves beyond the effect of artillery. They now opened up with machine guns on the crawling Indian troops. The troops inched up using the craters caused by artillery for cover. In spite of the withering machine gun fire from the bunkers, troops had to crawl and use grenades to silence them. Back at the base the commanders were huddled around the wireless. However with the enemy at close quarters there was no time for communication.
By 2.30 am desperation was setting in and in this situation Hav Yashvir Singh Tomar collected the grenades from the rest of the men. He then charged the last few bunkers. Getting there, he tossed in 18 grenades at the bunkers and silenced them . Hav Yashvir was martyred in this daring assault and his body was found with an assault rifle in one hand and grenade in the other.It is one of the most daring actions of the war.
Tololing was won and it was the first major victory during the Kargil war. The daring action by Hav Yashvir Singh changed the course of the battle and paved the way for army to go for more decisive actions in the war.
For his act of bravery in the Battlefield Hav Yashvir Singh Tomar was Awarded with Vir Chakra (posthumously).
Hav Yashvir is survived by father Girwar singh, wife Manesh Devi and children, Uday and Pankaj.