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The enemy had sneaked in and entrenched itself upon the peaks of Kargil. The enemy, as it turned out, was a deadly mix of Afghan battle-hardened Pakistani guerillas and elite troops of its Northern Light Infantry.

When the Indian government discovered the intrusion, it relied on its most powerful weapon -- the Indian armed forces. And the weapon did not disappoint one bit.

The Indian Army and Indian Air Force's brave and courageous soldiers prised open the enemy defences over the next six weeks and eventually threw them out. Over 500 soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice defending the motherland.

rediff.com Chief Photographer Jewella C Miranda was there when the Indian men in arms showed their mettle to the Pakistanis. She recounts her experience.

When I reached Kargil, the war was on in full swing. But these bikers seemed completely oblivious to the fight that was just kilometres away from them. For the soldiers, though, it wasn't a ride in the park. Their memories will always be fresh about their sacrifices and those of their valiant colleagues.

Photographs and Text: Jewella C Miranda

Lest We Forget

Also see: Guardians of Peace

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