LOC: Kargil (2003)



Director:     J.P. Dutta.

Starring:     Sanjay Dutt (Lt Col. Y.K. Joshi, 13 JAK Rifles), Ajay Devgn (Lt. Manoj Kumar Pandey, 1 / 11 Gurkha Rifles), Saif Ali Khan (Capt. Anuj Nayyar, 17 JAT), Sunil Shetty (Sepoy Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles), Sanjay Kapoor (Maj. Deepak Rampal, 17 JAT), Abhishek Bachchan (Lt. Vikram Batra, 13 JAK Rifles), Akshaye Khanna (Lt. Balwan Singh, 18 Grenadiers), Nagarjuna Akkineni (Maj. Padmapani Acharya, 2 Rajputana Rifles), Ashutosh Rana (Yogender Singh), Rani Mukerji (Hema), Karan Nath (Maj. Rajesh Adhikari, 18 Grenadiers), Manoj Bajpayee (Gren. Yogender Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers), Kareena Kapoor (Simran), Raveena Tandon (Rampal's wife), Mahima Chaudhry (Reena Yadav).

1999 India-Pakistan Kargil war



Spoiler Warning:

"The film is based on historical events of the Kargil War of 1999."

A message comes over the radio:  "Charlie, this is Alfa.  Report to headquarters.  Over."  The message can't be received because everyone is dead. 

4th May 1999.  LOC - Line of Control Kaksar (Kargil Sector), Lt. Saurav Kala's lost patrol, JAT Regiment. 

5th May 1999.  LOC - Line of control Kaksar (Kargil Sector), Lt. Amit Bhardwaj's Lost Patrol , JAT regiment.   The message can't be received because everyone is dead.

Lt. Kaalia is ordered to carry out a detailed survey with his patrol.  They are to check for anyone crossing over the Line of Control (LOC). 

The Colonel sending out the patrols now reports that he has not been able to contact the groups he has sent out in the past two weeks.  Headquarters says stop sending out search patrols. 

A group of recent casualties comes in.  The men say they were caught in an ambush.  They add that it was so dark, that they couldn't tell where the enemy was.

Pakistan guns fire from across the LOC.  The artillery shells fall on villages in the Kargil Sector.  The word is that the Mujahidins and the Pakistani troops have crossed the LOC and intruded several kilometers into Indian territory.  In fact, it looks like they are all over the Indian territory.  They're in the Muskoh Valley, the Drass sector and the Batalik sector. The enemy is concentrating on hitting National Highway number one through point 4875, Tololing and Kukarthang and continuously shells the Indian convoys. 

The enemy plan is simple.  They plan to cut off Kashmir from Ladak by hitting National Highway Number One (NH1).

Indian Army convoys passing through the Zojila Pass on NH1.  The Indian response is maximum mobilization in the Kargil sector.  The Pakistanis have the high ground and their terrain is very rough.  So for every 1 Pakistanti casualty, there will be 10 Indian casualties.  And the Indians have to fight the Pakistanis without going over the LOC.  They will move in the 1/11 Gurkha Regiment first because they are the best fighters for this area.  Colonel Lalit Rai will take command. 

Rashtriya Rifles somewhere in Kashmir Valley.  Headquarters talks to the Colonel saying that they will deliver him to his next assignment, Kargil, in 24 hours by helicopter. 

First Battalion of the 11th Gurkha Rifles.  The unit has 27 junior commissioned officers and 470 others.  The battalion mounts up.  They are going forward by jeeps and trucks. 

Colonel Thakur is now ordered to move his battalion, 18th Grenadiers, to Kargil Dras sector immediately.

The enemy tries to blow a bridge but the Indians catch the explosive specialists. And now word arrives that all the operations in the valley have been called off.  The battalion is moving to the Dras sector. 

The men are told that the Toloiling glacier on their territory and the post there have been captured by the enemy.  From there the enemy is watching NH1.  It will be their job to eject the enemy from the Tololing glacier area.  At present the 16th Grenadiers are fighting in that area. 

Colonel Baba is ordered to move his 17th battalion to the Kargil sector immediately.  Jai Hind with the 17th battalion reports to his commander.  He explains what happened on his mission.  There were four Afghan tribals.  Three of them used the cover of women and children to escape, but he nabbed the fourth one.  He adds that the mujahidins of Afghanistan have gotten as far as the Pir Punjab.  The commander says the battalion is moving to Mathai, Kargil sector. 

Headquarters promotes Major Joshi (Joe) to being a Lieutenant Colonel.  He will command 13 J&K Rifles Battalion.  He is to move to Kumri, Kargil sector.  [J&K = the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles]. 

Major Vikas is looking for Vikram Batra, who was send out on patrol four days ago and nobody has heard from him since.  So they will try to get him on the radio.  All of a sudden Vikram Batra shows up with his patrol. 

Sanjay returns early.  Major Joshi will be in command.  Sanjay says from what they said on the radio the situation in Kargil sounds very serious, indeed.  The now Lt. Col. Joshi says to his officers that they have to reach Kumri in 48 hours.

18 Grenadiers move to Drass sector. 

A lot of time is spent on the sad scenes of men having to leave their wives, fiancÚs or girlfriends.

1/11 GR reaches Batalik sector of Kargil.  Jai Hind is in the lead jeep. 

18 Grenadiers reach the Drass sector NH1 (Kargil).  They are fired upon.   It looks like the Pakistanis want to wreck National Highway 1 to isolate Ladakh and Kashmir from the rest of the country.

17 Jat reaches Matayin (Kargil sector).  Two of their men were badly wounded and have to be evacuated by helicopter to a hospital.  Anuj Nayyar and others will be going up into the mountains to make contact with the enemy. 

13 Jak Rifles reach the Drass sector.  They run into a truck that went off the road.  The soldiers get out and see that the truck is filled with coffins.  The coffins comes from the Sikh Regiment and the Grenadiers.  The truck is on its way to Delhi from Srinagar.  That's a sobering sight for the recently arrived soldiers. 

At headquarters they estimate the enemy to be between 2,000 and 3,000 troops.  They have taken control from the Muskoh Valley (considered to be glaciated and unsuitable for human habitation) to the Batalik sector.  These enemy are supported by Pakistan's 5th Northern Light Infantry. 

1/11 GR enter Yaldor (Kargil sector). It looks like all the villagers have run away because of the shelling.   Manoj is told that they have established control over the village of Yaldor.  Brigadier Devendra Singh has issued orders that a company of their Gurkha Regiment will help the 3rd Punjab Battalion and the 16th Grenadiers.  They haven't been able to make any progress towards Kukarthang.  Wrestler Pandey will command a company of soldiers.

Under Manoj Pandey, the company hooks up with the 3rd Punjab Battalion. As the Gurkha moved up into the mountains, they find a battlefield where there are a lot of dead bodies of the 16th Grenadiers.  And now the enemy opens fire on the new arrivals.  They loose quite a few men, so they decide to stay put until night time.  Then they move when ever dark clouds cover the moon.  When they get close enough they rush the pill box on the hill.  They use their bazooka a lot and when real close the soldiers throw grenades into the pill box.  The pill box is completely annihilated.  After taking the position, Manoj calls into headquarters.  He is congratulated for the first victory of operation Vijay.  Manoj is sad because today he lost nine of his Gurkha brothers. 

17th Jat Base camp, Mushkoh Valley (May 1999).   The key men are instructed as to the plan of attack.  Colonel Baba says that their final objective is point 4875.  This point is as important as Tiger Hill.  From this point they can keep an eye on the entire Drass sector.  It is very important for them to hold this point.  Major Puniya will attack point 4540 with B Company.  C Company will remain in reserve.  Major Deepak Rampal and Captain Anuj Nayyar will survey the heights between 5930 and 4830.  They are to find and destroy. 

The soldiers surprise the mortar crew and kill them all.  Deepak calls to headquarters to say they took the mortar positions but lost two men. 

18th Grenadiers advance party.  The advance party comes across another unit that has suffered light casualties.  Jai Hind is told by Balwan that 16 Grenadiers are in real bad shape. 

18th Grenadiers main party links up with the 16th Grenadiers.

18th Grenadiers attack on Tololing features (Barbadh bunker).  There is heavy fog blocking their way, so they decide to wait until it lifts.  As they wait, mortar shells start raining down upon them.  Jai Hind decides to push forward with a radio man.  He throws a hand grenade amidst the enemy killing several soldiers.  He kills some others with his automatic weapon, but then he is shot down.

18th Grenadiers Reinforcement for Tololing. Lead by Lt. Col. Vishwanathan.

18th Grenadiers reinforcement reach Tololing (Day 3).  The officer in charge Vishwanathan heads up the mountain, hears what the situation is and then he charges upwards, but he is hit.  After awhile, the colonel dies.  Headquarters now says the Colonel Thakur is to hold his position and don't move forward.  2nd Rajputana Rifles will be there shortly.  And they are going to get some artillery support. 

2nd Raj Rifles, Second Battalion of the Rajputana Rifles, links up with 13th Jak Rifles (Ghumri, June 10, 1999), led by Lt. Col. Joshi (Joe).

2nd Raj Rifles base camp Drass (Kargil Sector), acclimatization period.  Captain Vijayant Thapar and Major Padmapani Acharya sit down and talk.  They talk about the captain's girlfriend and marriage.  Then the major talks about his family. 

2nd Raj Rifles link up with the 18th Grenadiers.  The commander of the situation tells Col. Ravindran that things are very bad.  But the colonel will get artillery support this time.  Vivek will lead C Company.  Mohit will lead D Company. Nimo will lead the platoon.  They will attack from three sides.  The Rajputana Rifles is ready to take Tololing. 

Indian artillery getting ready for the attack. 

2nd Raj Rifles attack of Tololing top (June 13, 1999). 

2nd Raj Rifles attack on knoll (June 28. 1999).  A soldier named Tau is badly wounded by a grenade.  He tells his friend Robin to annihilate the bunkers. [Bunkers means machine gun nests.]  Tau dies.  Robnin grabs a bazooka and fires it at one of the bunkers.  It destroys the bunker, but Robin is killed in the process. 

Col. Ravindran calls into headquarters that they have taken Tololing.  The colonel says they lost Major Vivek Gupta, Major Acharya, Captain Nemo and Captain Vijayan Thapar.   Headquarters says that this is the turning point of the war.

13th JAK Rifles administrative base camp. (Ghumri).  The base camp is being shelled by Pakistani artillery.  They start filling up the trucks to take the men away.  A helicopter lands to take the wounded away.

Jai Hind is told that the base camp is ready.  The men make use of it.  Jai Hind says that the men are to take Rocky Knob.  Bhaskar will lead Alfa Company. The other leaders are Vikas Bohra, Ajay Jasrotiya and many others. 

13th JAK Rifles fire base.  At least these guys have machineguns and mortars.  When the attack is launched Major Ajay Jasrotiva is killed, but they take Rocky Knob. 

Their next target is point 5140.  It's a night attack on point 5140.  They take the point.  One part of the attack had no casualties at all.

18th Grenadiers now get a shot at capturing Tiger Hill.  Headquarters says this is the final assault plan.  17th Jat takes 3 Pimple.  13th J&K takes point 4875.  1/11 Gorkha takes Khalubar.  18th Grenadiers takes Tiger Hill. 

1/11 Gorkha has to cross a river.  The Pakistani artillery opens up on  them.  At least one man is killed.  Manoj is congratulated for his great speech to the men.  Anuj asks Col. Babu to hold his engagement ring just in case he doesn't make it out alive.  The colonel says Anuj shouldn't be thinking so negatively.  He will make it.  He will, however, send the ring back to his girl if something does happen.

There's another long section featuring soldiers and wives, mothers and girlfriends. 

1/11 GR link up with 22nd Grenadiers.  Jai Hind is one of the company leaders.  They take the wrong road and the Pakistani artillery opens fire on them.  Now they see other troops below them.  So they slip and slide down to the road below them and the two groups are now joined together.

18th Grenadiers attack on Tiger Hill.  Rockets are launched and artillery is fired on the Pakistani positions.  Then the unit attacks the Pakistanis.  They crush the Pakistanis.

17th Jat attack on Pimple Complex.  Artillery is called upon.  The shells land in the right place.  Cease fire now.   The Indians attack the Pakistanis while another group of Indians gets up behind the Pakistanis.  They do a lot of damage, but then a machine gun opens up on them killing quite a few of the Indians.  A badly wounded soldier, Yogendra, still is able to kill the Pakistani machine gunners. 

The main force is going to wait for darkness, but Anuj says he can't wait that long.  He takes off running forward toward the enemy.  With a grenade he takes out a machine gun nest.  Yogendra makes it back to the main forces.  He says that all the guys in his section have been killed. And Yadav-ji has been martyred.  He also says that the Pakistani bastards are going to launch a counter-attack. 

Anuj gets himself wounded while taking another machine gun next.  He tells Deepak not to worry because nothing's going to happen to him.  Anuj dies.  Deepak goes a little crazy overkilling Pakistani soldiers

1/11 GR attack on Bunker Area.  They want to attack the Khalubar area.  The commander is hit in the leg and Manoj insists that he be taken to base camp on a stretcher.  The commander refuses to leave.  So Manoj tells the commander to give him his orders and he will do it for the commander.  The commander agrees now.  Manoj takes section officer Bhim Bahadur and the 5th platoon.  The mortar assault on Manoj, however, is too heavy, so he decides to wait until day break. 

13th JAK Rifles attack on point 48.  A wounded Captain Nagappa is still able to reach a machine gun nest.  With his two hands he pulls two machine guns out and away from the machine gunners.  He then kills the gunners.  The captain sends someone to rescue Nagappa. 

It's daylight now.  A Pakistani who knows of Manoj yells to him that it's daylight and it's time for him to come out and fight.  A bit of trash-talking.  Manoj talks back to the Pakistani.  Manoj goes out to draw the fire of the enemy machine gunners.  He carries a machine gun with him.  Manoj gets hit and is dragged behind some rocks.  Manoj calls in saying that soon they will see their tricolor flag flying over Kalubar.  Now he tells the officer near him that there are two bunkers on the right, and four to the left.  The forces are divided into two groups and they slowly move forward knocking out one bunker after another.  Vikram (called Vicky) gets killed in action.  The unit lost their officers Manoj and Bhim Bahadur Diwan, but the bunkers were all knocked out.  And now the attack on Khalubar can be made.   The attack will be after sunset. 

Final attack on Tiger Hill. 18th Grenadiers and 8th Sikh.  It's a night attack.  The Ghatak's have taken Tiger Hill.  Their tricolor is flying on Tiger Hill. 

17th Jat capture Pimple Complex.

13th JAK Rifles capture point 4875.

1/11 GR capture Khallubar.  They grieve over the loss of Manoj Pandey. 

July 14, 1999.  Prime Minister of India declares Operation Vijay a success. 

Women grieve over the loss of their husbands. 

Other, lucky, women welcome their men back home. 



I can't say I liked the film.  And it was more than four hours long.  They covered too many military units and it was hard remembering the different units.  Also there were too many characters.  It was hard to remember all the characters.  Too much time was spent on all the families of the too many characters.  You don't really get to know much about any of the characters, so it's harder to care about them.  There were so many battles and many of them looked so similar.  Lots of scenes of Indian soldiers attacking the Pakistanis.  The best of the action was saved for the last battles.  That part was pretty good.  But I was glad to see the end of the film coming up.  (Oh, I also enjoyed looking up all these different places in Kashmir with Google Mapping Pro and using Wikipedia. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.


Geographical Background:

 Indian Kashmir includes the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir (which consists of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, and Ladakh).  Northwest and west of Jammu and Kashmir is the Northern Areas controlled by Pakistan.  On the northern border is the 1972 Line of Control.  Kargil is about in the middle of the northern border.  Srinagar is 126 miles southwest of Kargil.  Drass is only 38 miles southwest of Kargil.  The Toloiling glacier is near Tiger Hill, northwest of Drass.  Batalik is 33 miles northeast of Kargil. 



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