Updated: January 15, 2021 11:50:14 am
Delivering a speech on the occasion of 73rd Army Day, Army Chief General MM Naravane on Friday said that ceasefire violations by Pakistan went up to 44 per cent in the year 2020. “Around 300-400 terrorists are sitting in training camps near the border to infiltrate into the Indian territory,” he said, adding that the army eliminated over 200 terrorists in cross-border operations last year.
Speaking on the Galwan dispute and ongoing tension with China, Naravane said, a “befitting reply was given” to an attempt to change the “status quo on borders” and that the sacrifice of “Galwan bravehearts” would not go in vain. “We are committed to finding the resolution of our disputes through discussions and political efforts but no one should commit the mistake of testing our patience, he added.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted the “mighty soldiers” and their families for their efforts in working to raise the “head of the country with pride.”
In a tweet this morning, Modi said, “Immediate congratulations to the mighty soldiers of the country and their families on Army Day in defense of Mother Bharati. Our army is strong, courageous and determined, which has always raised the head of the country with pride. I salute the Indian Army on behalf of all the countrymen.”
मां भारती की रक्षा में पल-पल मुस्तैद देश के पराक्रमी सैनिकों और उनके परिजनों को सेना दिवस की हार्दिक बधाई। हमारी सेना सशक्त, साहसी और संकल्पबद्ध है, जिसने हमेशा देश का सिर गर्व से ऊंचा किया है। समस्त देशवासियों की ओर से भारतीय सेना को मेरा नमन।
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 15, 2021
President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed his gratitude to the Indian Armed Forces by remembering the “supreme sacrifice” of the “valiant men and women” in serving the nation. “ India will remain forever grateful to courageous and committed soldiers, veterans and their families,” he added.
To mark the occasion, the Indian Army paid tribute to the continuous efforts of the soldiers at the National War Memorial in the national capital on Friday. Among those present were CDS General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General MM Naravane, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh.
Chief of Defence Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat paid homage to the soldiers whose “sacrifice in line of duty inspires us to rededicate ourselves with renewed vigour.”
The Army Day is celebrated every year on January 15 since 1949, when Field Marshal Kodandera M Cariappa took over from General Sir Francis Butcher to become the Indian Army’s first Commander-in-Chief. The day has been observed as Army Day to recognise this, and to acknowledge the achievements and risks undertaken by Indian army personnel.
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