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Rajnath Singh Visits World’s Highest Battlefield Siachen

 ‘The Success Of Operation Meghdoot Is A Matter Of Pride For All Of Us’

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LEH/NEW DELHI, April 22: Siachen is India’s capital of “courage, grit and determination”, defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday after carrying out an on-the-ground review of the security situation at the world’s highest snow-clad battlefield.

Addressing soldiers at a forward post at an altitude of 15,100 ft, Singh lauded the “iron-clad” will of the Indian Army soldiers deployed in the icy cold glacier and said that their bravery will forever be an inspiration for future generations.

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The defence minister described Siachen as a symbol of India’s sovereignty and determination.

He said that 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.”

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’.

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The defence minister 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 was accompanied by chief of the Army Staff Gen Manoj Pande; general officer commanding-in-chief of Northern Command Lt Gen MV Suchindra Kumar and general officer commanding of 14 Corps Lt Gen Rashim Bali.

In his remarks, Singh lauded the soldiers for walking on the virtuous path of protecting the motherland with valour and determination in extreme conditions.

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“We are leading a peaceful life as we have an assurance that our brave soldiers stand steadfast at the borders,” he said.

Singh 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.

“Our soldier is no less than any protecting deity,” he said.

“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,” he said.

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’.

After carrying out aerial reconnaissance, the defence minister landed at the forward post and was given a detailed brief on the operational readiness in the Siachen Glacier and the prevalent security situation.

He also discussed the aspects associated with the operational challenges with the commanders on the ground.

“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 said on ‘X’.

“I laud their courage and professionalism, in the line of duty,” he said.

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.

Singh had visited Leh on March 24 and celebrated Holi with the troops. He was scheduled to visit Siachen, but it was postponed due to adverse weather conditions.

From Leh, the defence minister 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 Monday’s visit despite his busy schedule, the ministry said in a statement.

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. (PTI)

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