Keep reading this amazing story of Major Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav.
The year was 1999 and the India-Pakistan war was at its peak. A young 19-year-old soldier was climbing a 100 feet wall of ice at 5,500 meters above sea level. Bullets and grenades were shooting at him. One bullet pierced his thighs and one more found its mark on his back. Yet he kept on climbing. On the other side of the rope was the victory of India and so he kept climbing.
The account of the event mentioned above is the true story of India’s youngest ‘Param Vir Chakra’ winner, Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav. Yogendra was born in Aurangabad, Uttar Pradesh in a military family. His father Karan Singh Yadav had served in both the 1965 Indo-China war and the 1971 India-Pakistan war. Following the great footsteps of his father, Yogendra joined the army at the mere age of 16. Continuing the family tradition, he was participating in the 1999 war between India and Pakistan.
Pakistan had captured various points on high mountains. They have even created well-protected bunkers giving them all the advantage. Yogendra Singh Yadav was part of a team that was tasked with securing tiger hill, comprising three different enemy bunkers. Their team’s codename was ‘Ghatak’. Yogendra was their grenadier.
The team started ascending the peak once it was dark. The invisibility of night neutralized the advantage of the enemy’s higher position. But it was no easy climb. The snow on the mountain was beginning to melt. It made the slope slippery. Hence the team arrived at its targetted position an hour late. They were right under one of the enemy’s bunkers. But between them and the bunker was a 100-foot wall of ice.
Yogendra Singh Yadav was given the task to climb the slope alone. He would then throw a rope back down, which would ensure a safe and quick passage for the others. This action was supposed to be done in the dark. But because of the delay, Yogendra Singh Yadav was climbing the slope with the sun coming up. One of the other bunkers caught the glimpse of this climb and started firing at him.
Fortunately for him, he was far and the winds at those heights were strong. But unfortunately, it alerted the other enemy bunkers. The one above Yadav’s team started throwing grenades from the top. The grenades couldn’t harm Yadav but they killed half of the ‘Ghatak’ team including their commander.
Yogendra Singh Yadav kept climbing relentlessly. But at 70 feet of his climb, he got shot in his groin. The pain was unbearable but his climbing didn’t stop. Another bullet pierced his back. This made climbing even harder. But the adrenaline worked as a pain killer and Yadav successfully climbed the slope. He threw a hand grenade into the nearest bunker and killed all its occupants. This bought him some time. He quickly provided his team with the rope. But they were still receiving heavy firing from the other bunker.
Yogendra Singh Yadav made up his mind in seconds. He was already shot, so he decided to attack the bunker providing his team with some precious time. He went straight into the tightly spaced bunker and killed the first guy with his pistol. One of them knocked off the pistol. But Yadav kept fighting and killed the remaining three with his knife. Amidst this he received 10 more bullets, making a total of 12. His team was inspired by his act of bravery and they swiftly took over the last remaining enemy bunker. They had to carry Yadav down to a helipad before a chopper airlifted him to the nearest hospital.
With twelve bullet wounds, any recovery seemed impossible. Hence the government nominated him for PVC. But to everyone’s surprise, Yogendra Singh Yadav made full recovery. He also became the youngest ever to receive India’s highest military award. The win at the Kargil war gained appreciation on a global stage and the story of Yogendra Yadav made its front page.