Udhampur (J&K) :By the first week of May 99, it had become clear to the Indian Army that Pakistani Intruders were occupying a number of important Indian heights in the Drass, Kargil and Batalik Sectors. In the Drass sector, well-entrenched enemy soldiers were directing precise artillery fire onto the Srinagar – Leh highway from the Tololing feature ie Point 4590 complex which over looked Drass village and directly dominated a long stretch of the Drass - Kargil Highway (NH-1A) from a distance of about five km. All vehicular movement had to be restricted to the hours of darkness and bad weather when clouds obscured the intruders’ view of the road. This intrusion was also the deepest into territory on the Indian side of the LoC. Hence it was tactically as well as psychologically important to evict the intruders from Tololing as early as possible.
On 20 May, 18 GRENADIERS was tasked to recapture Tololing. 18 Grenadiers had displayed exemplary collective grit and determination in the face of unsurmountable odds by tenaciously hanging on their fragile hold on the Tololing and point 4590 for over three weeks which was marked by bitter fighting. The battle of Tololing was the first major Indian victory of the 1999 conflict and laid the foundation for subsequent triumphs. Never in India’s rich military history had a battalion sustained direct and indirect enemy fire for such a long period of time and had still stood its ground. Even the Gods must have applauded the valour, grit and unflinching spirit of these grinders as they looked down from the high heavens. 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles (JAK RIF) relieved this battalion on 16 June 1999 for some well deserved rest. A long battle had been successfully concluded, but the campaign was still on.