Captain Vikram Batra was a soldier of the Indian Army who was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra (PVC). He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra for his exemplary actions in the Kargil War of 1999.
Captain Vikram Batra was born on 9 September 1974 (age 24 years; at the time of death) in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh. His zodiac sign is Virgo. He received his primary education from his mother. He did his middle school from the DAV Public School in Palampur. His received his senior secondary education was from Central School, Palampur. Batra was a very popular student and his teachers say that he was respectful to everybody. Batra participated in many sporting and academic events, and he used to win most of them. His classmates stated that he used to sweep almost 75% of all the prizes every year. He had participated in the National Level Table Tennis (Central Schools), representing the North Zone and the National Youth Parliamentary Competition.
After he completed his schooling, he took admission in the DAV College, Chandigarh for B.Sc in Medical Science. In DAV College, he was announced as the Best National Cadet Corps (NCC) for the Air Wing in two zones. This got him selected for a helicopter flight training for 40 days in the Pinjore Flying Club in Gariran, Haryana. Later he was also selected for the 1994 Republic Day Parade in New Delhi.
During his B.Sc course, he was offered to join the Merchant Navy at a company in Hong Kong, however, he declined; in determination to join the Indian Army. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in 1995, he enrolled in the Punjab University for an MA English course. He simultaneously prepared for the Combined Defence Services(CDS) examinations and, he took a job as a part-time manager at a travel agency in Chandigarh. In June 1996, he cleared his CDS exam. He left his course to join the Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Weight (approx.): 75 kg
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Girlfriend
Captain Vikram Batra belongs to a Hindu Family. He was born to Girdhari Lal Batra and Kamal Kanta Batra. His father is the Principal of a Government school, and his mother is a retired school teacher. He has a twin brother, Vishal Batra, who works at a bank in Chandigarh, and two elder sisters, Seema and Nutan.
Vikram met his girlfriend, Dimple Cheema, in college, who was also studying MA English from Punjab University. They fell in love and had decided to get married after Vikram returned from the Kargil War.
Vikram joined the Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun, in June 1996 in the Manekshaw Battalion. After his training, he passed out from the IMA on 6 December 1997. In January 1998, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Indian Army. He was posted in the 13th battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles (13 JAK Rif) in Sopore, Jammu Kashmir. Before his posting, he was sent to Jabalpur for regimental training.
In March 1998, he was sent to the Infantry School at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh, for the Young Officer’s Course, in which he was awarded the Alpha grade. After that, he was posted in an area with high militant activity. He led many operations and encounters. Once in an ambush, a bullet fired by a militant went past him, slightly touching his shoulders and killing a soldier behind him. Batra knew, that the bullet was meant for him and not the other soldier. He ordered his team to nab all the militants to avenge the soldier’s death. Batra was saddened by this incident, as he knew that his fellow soldier died an unexpected death. In January 1999, he was sent on a Commando Course at Belgaum, Karnataka. It lasted for two months, and he aced this course. He was awarded the highest grade upon completion- The Instructor’s Grade.
In 1999, Batra went home for Holi. He used to visit the Neugal Cafe; his favourite place to have coffee. The Kargil war had begun, and he knew that he would be called soon. His unit received orders to head to Shahjanpur, Uttar Pradesh, but soon, their orders were changed, and they were asked to move to Kargil. His battalion, the 13 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles (13 Jak Rif) were given orders to capture the Tololing mountain, which they did successfully.
After the success of Tololing, his battalion was ordered to capture Point 5140; which was a strategically important mountain peak in the Drass region. Under the cover of artillery fire, they started climbing Point 5140 from the rear, which was a steep climb and the only area from where the Pakistani soldiers least expected an attack. They reached the top and attacked the Pakistani Army by surprise. Batra killed 3 Pakistani soldiers in hand to hand combat. His battalion did not suffer a single casualty. They captured Point 5140 and recovered a lot of ammunition and heavy guns. Batra contacted his command post saying the words, Ye Dil Maange More (the victory call of his battalion). After the capture, Batra was promoted to the rank of Captain. His triumph was celebrated across India; as it was being played on millions of television screens.
On 3 July 1999, the 13 JAK Rifles and the 28 Rashtriya Rifles started the mission to capture Point 4875. It was a strategically important peak, as it overlooked 30-40 km of National Highway 1 and the posts of the Indian Army. Batra was not part of this mission; as he was suffering from fever. The battalions started off the mission and proceeded towards the peak with success, but soon fell short of soldiers; due to heavy firing. Captain Batra approached his Commanding Officer to seek permission to go on the battlefield. Seeing this, other soldiers requested to go with him too. Batra was allowed to head out to the peak with 25 soldiers. The team at the top was sent a wireless message that Sher Shah (Batra’s Codename) was coming. The Pakistanis intercepted this message, and as they knew who Sher Shah was, they broke into the Indian Army’s wireless communications and threatened him. Batra was informed of the threat but he kept going.
He reached Point 4875 on 7 July 1999. They attacked 2 bunkers and destroyed them, but was taken by surprise when the Pakistani Army attacked them from behind a ledge. Batra crouched and moved forward and threw two grenades to destroy a Pakistani machine gun position. He attacked the ledge and took them by surprise by entering from the narrowest entrance, killing 5 Pakistani soldiers. This ferocious attack by Captain Batra and his men resulted in them gaining the upper hand. Only one Pakistani machine gun post was left. Batra had sustained severe injuries. He gained control of the post but an Indian soldier had gotten injured. Batra asked a subedar to evacuate that soldier, and when they were getting him out, he was shot by a sniper, followed by an RPG which hit him near the head. Batra collapsed and succumbed to his wounds. This outraged the Indian soldiers, following which they captured the point 4875.
- Captain Vikram Batra was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra. India’s Highest Military Honour for bravery or an act of valour or self-sacrifice, in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea, or air.
- On 15th August 1999, his father received the Param Vir Chakra for his deceased son, from the former President of India K. R. Narayanan.
- After his death, Point 4875 (where Captain Vikram Batra died) was named as Batra Top. A residential area in the Jabalpur Cantonment is named the Captain Vikram Batra Enclave. A hall at the Service Selection Centre in Allahabad, where Vikram Batra had given his CDS interview was renamed as Vikram Batra block.
- In 2003, a film was made about the LOC Kargil conflict. Abhishek Bachchan played the role of Captain Vikram Batra in the movie.
- On 23 June 2010, the Indian Military Academy (IMA) unveiled a bust of Captain Vikram Batra to honour him.
- A state of the art mess was inaugurated by The Former Chief of Army Staff, General VK Singh, named- the Vikram Batra Mess. It was in the Indian Military Academy Dehradun, and it could seat 1200 individuals.
- In 2014, Captain Vikram Batra’s mother, Kamal Kanta Batra, contested the general elections from the Hamirpur Constituency, Himachal Pradesh from Aam Admi Party (AAP). She lost and quit the party after 11 months of joining. She was not happy with the functioning of the party and stated that she only contested the elections as Arvind Kejriwal had requested her personally to do so.
- On 17 April 2017, deeply hurt by the poor maintenance of the statue of Captain Vikram Batra, his father, G. L. Batra, cleaned the statue himself. He offered funds for the maintenance of the statue if the Government of Himachal Pradesh was not able to do so.
- On 9 September 2018, a statue of Captain Vikram Batra was unveiled in the Shaheed Captain Vikram Batra Degree College, on his birth anniversary by Health Minister Vipin Singh Parmar.
- On 28 February 2018, Captain Vikram Batra’s Statue was unveiled at the National War Memorial in New Delhi, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Karan Johar announced to make a biopic about Captain Vikram Batra. Sidharth Malhotra will be playing the role of Vikram Batra and Kiara Advani will play the role of Dimple Cheema.