The Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that India wants an end to the border tensions with China in Eastern Ladakh and even wants to establish peace. This was while he performed “Shastra Puja”- the customary worship of weapons in Sukha.
He, however, also asserted the fact that the “Indian soldiers will not let even an inch of India’s land fall into the hands of another.”
Singh was accompanied by Army chief General Manoj Mukund Narvane along with other officers and jawans during the puja at Sukna War Memorial in Darjeeling.
After the ceremony, the defence minister said that the brave soldiers of India have sacrificed their lives for the nation’s safety and hence they want the border tension to cease with a peaceful solution. “But unpleasant incidents keep happening. However, I am confident that our soldiers will not let anyone take even an inch of our land… History will remember the courage of Indian soldiers,” he added.
The minister also stated the importance of the “Shastra Puja” stating it to be an integral part of India’s military tradition. He worshipped the weapons, equipment, and even armored vehicles as a priest chanted prayers in Sanskrit beside him.
His visit comes in the time of the standoff with the neighbouring country China in eastern Ladakh. A tense confrontation also occurred between the soldiers of the two countries in North Sikkim earlier in May.
Singh on a two-day visit to Sikkim and West Bengal to review the preparedness of the forces along with the army chief- also inaugurated the Alternate Alignment Gangtok-Nathula Road via video conferencing from the Sukna-based headquarters of 33 Corps. He even reviewed the combat preparedness of the Indian Army at Sukna on Saturday.
He has been pushing for infrastructure developments across the border areas for the swift movement of Indian forces. On the beginning of October, heralding a new era in the connectivity of roads and bridges in sensitive areas close to western, Northern and North Eastern Borders, he had opened 44 major permanent bridges, constructed by BRO. Singh has also laid the foundation stone for Nechiphu Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh.
(With added inputs from The Quint)