We lead peaceful life as our soldiers stand steadfast at borders: Rajnath

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh interacting with Army personnel during his visit to Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield, on Monday.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh interacting with Army personnel during his visit to Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield, on Monday.

At Siachen, DM says nation indebted to Armed Forces
*Reviews situation with Army chief, top Comdrs

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Apr 22: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today visited Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world and took first-hand assessment of the security situation with top Army Commanders including Army chief Gen Manoj Pande who accompanied him from New Delhi.
Addressing the soldiers at a forward post at an altitude of 15,100 feet, Rajnath lauded the troops for walking on the virtuous path of protecting the motherland with valour and determination in extreme conditions. The nation will remain forever indebted to the Armed Forces personnel as it is due to their sacrifices that every citizen feels safe, he added.
“We are leading a peaceful life as we have an assurance that our brave soldiers stand steadfast at the borders. In the times to come, when the history of national security is written, the acts of bravery and iron-clad will of our soldiers in the icy cold Glacier will be remembered with pride. It will forever be an inspiration for future generations,” the Defence Minister said.
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Rajnath was given detailed assessment of the situation at Siachen Glacier by Army chief Gen Manoj Pande, Northern Command chief Lieutenant General MV Suchindra Kumar and General Officer Commanding (GOC) Leh-based 14 Corps Lieutenant General Rashim Bali.
After an aerial reconnaissance, Rajnath Singh landed at a forward post at an altitude of 15,100 feet and was given a detailed brief on operational readiness in Siachen Glacier and prevalent security situation. He also discussed the aspects associated with operational challenges with the Commanders on ground.

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He interacted with the soldiers deployed in extreme weather and tough terrain conditions.
The Defence Minister described Siachen as India’s capital of “courage, grit and determination” and a symbol of India’s sovereignty and determination.
“Just as Delhi is India’s national capital, Mumbai is the financial capital and Bengaluru is the technology capital, Siachen is the “capital of courage, grit and determination,” he said.
The Siachen Glacier in the Karakoram Range is known as the highest militarised zone in the world where the soldiers have to battle frostbite and high winds.
Singh’s visit to Siachen came over a week after the Indian Army marked the 40th year of its presence in the strategically key region following the ‘Operation Meghdoot’. His visit to Siachen Glacier was scheduled for March 24 to celebrate Holi with Army jawans but was deferred due to adverse weather conditions. However, he had visited Leh in the Union Territory of Ladakh and interacted with the troops there. From Leh, he had spoken with the soldiers posted in Siachen over phone and told them that he would soon visit the world’s highest battlefield and interact with them.
Singh fulfilled his promise with today’s visit despite his busy schedule.
Rajnath described the operation, which was launched by the Indian Army in Siachen on April 13, 1984, as a golden chapter of the country’s military history.
“The success of Operation Meghdoot is a matter of pride for all of us,” he said.
The Defence Minister said that the first lamp on Diwali and the “first colour” of Holi should be dedicated to the protectors of the country, similar to the first food offering to deities, priests and gurus. He said our soldier is no less than any protecting deity.
“Visited a forward post in Siachen. Had a wonderful interaction with the brave Army personnel who are guarding our nation in extremely challenging conditions,” Singh wrote on ‘X’.
“I laud their courage and professionalism, in the line of duty,” he added.
The Defence Minister also laid a wreath at the Siachen War Memorial as a mark of tribute to the fallen heroes who made the supreme sacrifice in service of the nation.
The Indian Army has been strengthening its presence in Siachen over the last few years.
In January last year, Captain Shiva Chauhan from the Army’s Corps of Engineers was posted at a frontline post in Siachen Glacier, in the first such operational deployment of a woman Army officer at the key battlefield.