Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday inaugurated the Army exhibition ‘Parakram Parv’ to mark the second anniversary of the successful surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army across the Line of Control (LoC). Modi arrived in Jodhpur earlier in the day where he was accorded the guard of honour by the tri-services.
Soon after his arrival at the Battle Axe Ground at the military station, the prime minister first signed a message paying homage to martyrs and took a round of the exhibition, showcasing combat capabilities of the Indian Army. The prime minister also paid floral tributes to martyrs at the Konark War Memorial. Modi was accompanied by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
The prime minister is later scheduled to attend the Combined Commanders’ Conference. “The conference will have deliberations among the prime minister, defence minister, chiefs of all the 3 defence services and some senior officials on some general and contemporary issues on national concern”, said Defence Spokesperson Col. Sombit Ghosh was quoted as saying by PTI.
In a message to the armed forces, PM Modi, while visiting the Konark War Memorial wrote, “Nation is proud of brave military power that is determined & devoted to the safety of the motherland. My warm regards to the bravehearts who perform supreme sacrifice & are symbols of inspiration for every generation.”
Centre has made elaborate plans to mark the anniversary of the cross-border operation in which the Indian Army in a covert mission ventured inside enemy territory, for what is the first such official account, and destroyed several terror launchpads preparing to infiltrate across the border. The government Thursday released a fresh video clip of the 2016 surgical strikes which was made using overhead footage from unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs and thermal imaging, shows a terror launchpad being destroyed.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced last week that various events will be held from September 28 to 30 to commemorate the valour of soldiers. This will also include a three-day exhibition at India Gate, she said.
Meanwhile, the University Grants Commission (UGC) also directed varsities and higher education institutions across the country to observe September 29 as “surgical strike day”. A political row broke out over the UGC communication to varsities. However, the Centre has said it is not compulsory for universities and higher education institutions to celebrate the second anniversary of the surgical strikes.
The Indian Navy has planned a two-day event starting September 29 in Mumbai and Goa to commemorate the second anniversary of the surgical strike carried out by the defence forces in 2016 to smash terror camps, an official said Thursday. Indian Air Force is also expected to be part of the exhibition. To attract the younger generation, the exhibition will actively highlight messages and letters written by children from across the country to armed forces personnel.
The National Cadet Corps in all higher education institutions is also organising a parade on September 29, following which the cadets will be addressed on “modalities of protection of the borders”.
The opposition has been rattling against the government for utilising the surgical strikes for poll benefits, while the government did not do much to mark the first anniversary of the operation, but it actively featured in the poll campaigns of BJP in state assembly elections. Posters were put up during the UP elections and the surgical strikes were mentioned by Modi during his campaign speeches in Gujarat.