Yogendra Yadav: The Kargil Hero Who Held Tiger Hill on His Own
Yogendra Yadav took 15 bullets during the operation.
An army jawan, already blood-stained, facing an array of bullets atop Tiger Hills. He got hit by a bullet... a second one.. .and then another one, fell to the ground, rose up, took down enemies across the border. He took 15 bullets on his body, but kept fighting.
As much as it may sound like a Bollywood script, this is the tale of Paramveer Chakra awardee Yogendra Singh Yadav who captured Tiger Hill all by himself.
War-Ready at 19
At the age of 19, Yadav had to prepare for war right after training. Upon becoming a part of the 18 Grenades, Yadav was assigned on the Tiger Hill, which had already been captured by the enemy forces.
By Yadav’s own account, “It was a huge challenge to scale thousands of feet and then face the armed enemies. We went forward with the ascent anyway. Our platoon of 21 jawans was faced by an attack when we were just halfway through, which resulted in some of our men getting martyred.”
The 'Plan B'
Yadav said that following the attack, it would have been foolhardy to advance on the same path and hence the Commanding Officer decided to reach Tiger Hill by scaling a steep cliff.
"Once we reached Tiger Hill, we demolished the first enemy bunker but were left with just seven jawans by then as we faced heavy firing once again," Yadav said.
"We stayed low then in order to keep our location discreet and soon the firing stopped," he further narrated.
A group of 10-12 Pakistani jawans then set off to find the platoon’s location. However firing on part of Indian jawans ensured that all but one of the Pakistani soldiers were killed.
Enemy Returns Prepared
The Pakistani soldier who managed to survive went on to inform other troops about the location and the strength of Yadav's platoon following which the Pakistani army forged another attack.
Yadav recounts, "Amid heavy firing, a part of my nose blew off after being hit by a mortar. I started bleeding profusely and went unconscious for a while. Just about then, one of my platoon members told me that nobody else was alive. I asked him for first aid and as soon as he extended his hands, I saw him getting slayed by a bullet. I tried to compose myself but soon got hit by a bullet on my shoulder.”
'I Survived a Bullet to My Chest'
Yadav said that as the Pakistani soldiers approached him, he pretended to be dead even as they were shooting at the killed.
He goes on to narrate, “A Pakistani soldier then came near me and fired on my legs and shoulder but I did not react. He then pointed the gun at my chest and I thought I would die right there. But fate had something else in store. I had incidentally kept my wallet in my shirt pocket which had a few five rupee coins which reduced the impact of the bullet. I went unconscious again but somehow survived.”
The Final Act
As Yadav regained consciousness after a while, he saw some Pakistani soldiers were still there.
He then found a grenade close by which he hurled at the Pakistani soldiers which killed all three of them.
“I tried getting up but my hand was hanging loose from my body. I tied it to my torso with the help of my belt and started positioning the rifles before other Pakistani soldiers arrived there,” Yadav said.
"As I started firing from different rifles, the Pakistan army thought that our reinforcement had arrived and they did not advance any further. This gave our platoon time to arrive at my position," he said.
By now Yadav could not walk anymore and so, he dragged himself down the slope through a fissure.
"I realised that I had reached Pakistan's side," Yadav said, but by then Indian troops had arrived who took him to the base hospital and unfurled the tricolour on Tiger Hill.
(This story was first published on Quint Hindi)
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.