Born on September 9, 1974, in Ghuggar village near Palampur in Himachal Pradesh, Captain Vikram Batra was from a humble middle-class background.
He was immensely popular among his classmates and teachers, and was an all-rounder at school. He was also a keen sportsman and used to take part in all the co-curricular activities.
He was a green belt holder in karate and played table tennis at national level.
He was awarded best NCC cadet (Air Wing) of north India.
From a young age, Captain Vikram Batra was deeply patriotic and was always keen on joining the Army. He started to prepare for Combined Defense Services (CDS) examination after completing his Bachelor’s degree in 1995.
In 1996, his dream was fulfilled when he cleared the CDS examination and joined the Indian Military Academy where he was commissioned as a lieutenant.
Captain Vikram Batra was selected to join the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun in the Jessore Company of Manekshaw Battalion in 1996, and was commissioned into 13 JAK Rifles. He was later promoted to the rank of Captain during the Kargil War of 1999.
From the sub-sectors of Drass and Batalik, Captain Vikram Batra’s Delta Company were ordered to recapture one of the most arduous and crucial peaks, peak 5140 on June 19.
Nicknamed Sher Shah, he along with his Delta Company decided to attack the enemy by surprise from the rear. At a height of 17,000 feet, Captain Batra and his men planned to approach the hill from the rear, so as to take his enemies by surprise.
They ascended the rocky cliff but as they neared the top, the Pakistani defenders pinned them on the face of the cliff with machine gunfire.
As soon as they ascended the cliff and neared the top, Pakistani troops pinned them on the mouth of the cliff with machine-gun fire, but the brave Indian soldiers were undeterred by this and Captain Batra and five of his men climbed up.
Captain Vikram Batra alone killed three soldiers in close combat and despite being badly injured during the exchange; he regrouped his men and continued the mission.
Despite being seriously injured, he inspired his team to fulfil their mission. The point 5140 was captured at 3:30 am on June 20, 1999.
He was given the nation’s highest gallantry award, Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his outstanding courage, steadfast resolve, leadership, and supreme sacrifice.