Captain Amol Kalia – The Kargil War Hero
“You have never lived until you have almost died and for those who choose to fight, Life has a special flavor. The protected will never know”. Today on the birth anniversary of “Captain Amol Kalia”, we shall know about his courage & bravery in the Kargil War.
Captain Amol Kalia was born on Feb 26, 1974, in Nangal town in the Ropar district of Punjab. The family named him Amol, the precious one.
He got his initial schooling from Fertilizer Model School in Nangal and passed the entrance exam of National Defence Academy in April 1994. He once dreamt of serving the Indian Army, though qualifying for the entrance exam of Engineering he fulfilled his dream. His elder brother Aman Kalia was already serving with the Indian Air Force and always used to encourage the younger one to follow in his footsteps. After completing his training at NDA & graduation from IMA, Capt. Amol was commissioned into the 12th Battalion of Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry referred to simply as 12 JAK LI.
Kargil War : June 1999 :
During ‘Operation Vijay’ in the Kargil War, 12 JAK LI was in the process of its de-induction from Ladakh after completing its high-attitude training programme.
Back from Delhi with the advance party, Capt. Kalia joined his ‘A’ company as the second in command on May 26, 1999. No one knew that just after 14 days later, he would earn for himself a place in the army of the bravest of the braves of the Indian Army.
Capt. Amol Kalia’s unit 12 JAK LI was deployed in the Batalik sector of J&K as part of “Operation Vijay”. Capt. Was given the task to recapture the peak point 5203, which was at a height of 17000 ft. in the Kargil Yoldar region. Capt. Kalia and his team of 13 members were air-dropped into the region.
They engaged the enemy at about 3 am on June 8 but it was very hard to spot the ever enemy due to pitch darkness. The soldier accompanying Capt. Kalia at LMG was shot dead, Capt. Amol managed to take control of the LMG & killed three enemy soldiers and injured another three. But he was outnumbered.
Capt. Kalia was hit by a burst of bullets in the morning. Though he was severely injured, he fought till the end till he succumbed to his injuries. He continued to fight and inspired his man till he breathed his last, but not before the enemy’s counter-attack was ruthlessly beaten back and the success signal flare was seen in the early morning sky.
The recapture of a key position in the Batalik sector by Capt. Amol Kalia and his men were one of the bravest acts seen in the Kargil War.
Capt Amol Kalia was a valiant soldier and a gritty officer who led from the front and laid down his life in the line of his duty. He was given the gallantry award, “Vir Chakra” for his outstanding bravery, leadership, fighting spirit, and supreme sacrifice.