Itanagar: 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 there.
The Defence Minister interacted with the troops deployed in the frontline locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and celebrated Dussehra with the soldiers.
Singh expressed gratitude to the unyielding spirit, unwavering commitment and unparalleled courage of the troops, who are deployed on the borders in tough conditions, but always ensure that the nation and its people are safe.
“The entire nation is proud of the Armed Forces and is standing with them,” he said.
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.
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, he added.
In view of the current global scenario, 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 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 and 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 Defence Minister also visited the Tawang War Memorial, where he laid a wreath and offered tributes to the brave hearts 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 R.P. Kalita, GOC, 4 Corps Lt Gen Manish Erry and other senior officers of the Indian Army.
Singh also visited the 4 Corps Headquarters at Tezpur in Assam on Monday and he reviewed the operational readiness of the formation, which is deployed in one of the easternmost parts of the country.
He was briefed on 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.
The Defence Minister commended the stellar work and yeoman services being rendered by all ranks of the Corps under challenging conditions.