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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visits Siachen; reviews military preparedness

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande during a visit at the Siachen Base Camp, in Ladakh, on Monday, April 22, 2024. (PTI Photo)

NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday visited Siachen, the world's highest battlefield, and reviewed India's overall military preparedness in the region.

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.

The Defence Minister, accompanied by Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande, reviewed the overall security situation in the region, officials said.

"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.

Singh also interacted with the soldiers deployed in Siachen.

The Siachen glacier at the height of around 20,000 feet in the Karakoram range is known as the highest militarised zone in the world where soldiers have to battle frostbite and high winds.

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

He emphasised that the nation will remain forever indebted to the armed forces personnel, as due to their sacrifices, every citizen feels safe.

"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," he said.

"It will forever be an inspiration for future generations," he said.

The Defence Minister described Siachen as not an ordinary land, but a symbol of India's sovereignty and determination.

He stated 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 nation recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the success of Operation Meghdoot.

Singh termed 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 also laid a wreath at the Siachen War Memorial, as a mark of solemn tribute to the bravehearts who have made the supreme sacrifice in service of the country.

Under its 'Operation Meghdoot', the Indian Army established its full control over the Siachen Glacier in April, 1984.

The Indian Army strengthened 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 an woman Army officer at the key battlefield.

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