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PHOTOS: Indian Army Chief honours fallen Kargil war heroes

Last updated on: July 25, 2014 15:59 IST

PHOTOS: Indian Army Chief honours fallen Kargil war heroes

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar

The Indian Army on Friday paid rich tributes to the martyrs of 1999 Kargil War at a ceremony at Drass in the frontier region of Ladakh. The ceremony was held to observe the 15th anniversary of ‘Operation Vijay Diwas’.

Army Chief General Bikram Singh arrived in Drass for the occasion.

The army chief was received by Lieutenant General D S Hooda, army commander, Northern Command, and Lieutenant General BS Negi, General Officer Commanding, Fire & Fury Corps.

“The visit started with a solemn wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial by the army chief.  General Bikram Singh also interacted with the family members of the martyrs, Veer Naris and the gallantry award winners.  All present remembered the losses borne proudly by the families of those who sacrificed their sons, husbands or brothers in the Kargil War in 1999,” a defence statement said.

-- With inputs from PTI

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Image: Army Chief General Bikram Singh lays a wreath to honour the martyrs of the Kargil war.
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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The event and venue is of a special significance to the general who has not only been the corps commander of the corps at Srinagar but was also the official spokesman of the army during the Kargil war,” the statement added.

Addressing the media on the occasion, the Chief of the Army Staff complimented them for their patriotic fervour and thanked them for covering the Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations year after year.

He stated that paying homage to the martyrs who laid down their life for the nation’s cause was the most befitting way for him to mark the culmination of his career in the army.

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Image: General Bikram Singh salutes the heroes of the Kargil war on the 15th anniversary of Operation Vijay Diwas.
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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As Chief of Army Staff, I want to assure you that your army is stationed at the border and has the ability to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. “

“As you know that I am hanging up my boots on July 31 and I thought what better way of saying goodbye to the profession than coming here and laying a wreath,” he said.

Asked if things have changed in terms of deficiencies in the army since the Kargil War, he said, “Yes, things have changed. Let me tell you all the armies have deficiencies. It is not only that the Indian army has deficiencies. But things are being made up. The present government is totally committed towards ensuring that our needs are met. Our deficiencies are met. So let me assure you that your army is fully geared to take on the challenges. I personally guarantee you that,” he said.

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Image: Singh meets with the family members of the martyrs of the war and pays his respects to them.
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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PHOTOS: Indian Army Chief honours fallen Kargil war heroes

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Replying to a question, General Singh said the life of a soldier has improved since the Kargil incursions took place in 1999.

“It has improved by leaps and bounds in a very distinct manner,” he said. “The aspirations of the force with regards to the security needs are being addressed by the government. Let me assure you that the present government is definitely committed towards ensuring that the aspirations of our soldiers are met,” he said.

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Image: Indian Army soldiers pay their respects at the spot in Drass Sector in Kargil.
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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On ceasefire violations by Pakistan, the Army Chief said, “As you very well know that this kind of firing has been on and this thing has been happening almost every month and every year, but let me assure you that your soldiers are taking necessary action whenever required.”

When asked about the absence of senior army officers, who were part of Kargil war, from the function, Gen Singh said he cannot comment on it as they might have had prior commitments.

“Look I cannot comment on that. It is possible that they are abroad, they are busy. They might have prior commitments. But let me assure you that each one of those officers has a commitment towards this cause,” he said.

General Singh later interacted with war widows present at the function and distributed gifts among them

 


Image: General Bikram Singh addresses the media on the occasion and thanks them for their patriotic fervour.
Photographs: Umar Ganie

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