Guwahati: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Tuesday visited the forward posts in Arunachal Pradesh and carried out first-hand on-ground assessment of the operational preparedness of the Armed Forces.
He interacted with the troops deployed in the frontline locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and celebrated Dussehra with the armed forces. Singh expressed gratitude to the unyielding spirit, unwavering commitment and unparalleled courage of the troops, who are deployed on the borders in tough conditions.
The entire nation is proud of the Armed Forces and is standing with them, he said.
Rajnath Singh performed Shastra Puja with the troops at Tawang, where he reiterated that Dussehra signifies the victory of good over evil. In his address, he described the righteousness and dharma of the brave Armed Forces personnel as the living testament to the ethos of the festival of Vijayadashmi.
The Raksha Mantri pointed out that the valour and commitment of the Armed Forces is one of the main reasons that India’s stature has grown on the international stage and it is now among the most powerful nations.
Citing his recent tour to Italy, he stated that he paid a visit to Montone memorial (Perugia Province) which has been built to honour the contribution of Naik Yaswant Ghadge and other Indian soldiers who fought in the Italian campaign to liberate Montone in World War II.
He added that not just Indians, but even Italian people pay their respects at the memorial, which is proof that the bravery of Indian soldiers is recognised globally.
In view of the current global scenario, Rajnath Singh asserted that there is no option but to bolster the country’s security apparatus, underlining that all efforts are being made by the Government to strengthen the nation’s military prowess through indigenous production of defence equipment.
“Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, giant strides have been made towards ‘Aatmanirbharta’ in defence. Earlier, we used to rely on imports to upgrade our military. But today, a number of major weapons & platforms are being manufactured within the country. Foreign companies are being encouraged to share their technology and produce the equipment in India with domestic industry. In 2014, the value of defence exports was about Rs 1,000 crore, but today we are exporting defence equipment worth thousands of crores,” he said.
The Raksha Mantri also visited the Tawang War Memorial, where he laid a wreath and offered tributes to the bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice during the 1962 war. He was accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande; General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Eastern Command Lt Gen RP Kalita; GOC, 4 Corps Lt Gen Manish Erry and other senior officers of the Indian Army.
He was briefed about the infrastructure development along the LAC and the employment of cutting-edge military equipment and technology to enhance the operational efficiency of the troops deployed in the frontline. He commended the stellar work and yeoman services being rendered by all ranks of the Corps under challenging conditions.
Ahead of his visit to Arunachal Pradesh to celebrate Dussehra with troops and perform the Shastra Puja, the defence minister was in Assam for a ‘bada khana’ at the 4 Corps Headquarters at Tezpur in Assam. During the visit, he reviewed the operational readiness of the formation, which is deployed in one of the easternmost parts of the country.
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In his address, Singh appreciated the concept of barakhana, stating that it brings together all ranks of the forces to eat together as members of the same family. “Being among you at this Barakhana shows that more than just our position, we are a family and together we are the protectors of our country,” he said.
The Raksha Mantri described Indian military as a true example of brotherhood and oneness as they work & stay together in the same barracks and unit, despite being from different states, religions & backgrounds. He commended the efforts of the Armed Forces & their families for their sacrifices and always ensuring the safety of the motherland. The nation will be forever indebted to the brave soldiers, he said.
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