New Delhi: Paying tributes to 20 Indian soldiers who were martyred in a border skirmish with Chinese troops in Galwan valley, Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane on Friday said that their sacrifice will not go in vain.
Addressing the 73rd Army Day parade here in Delhi, Gen Naravane said, ‘You all are aware of ongoing tension with China on northern borders. Regarding conspiracy to unilaterally change status quo on borders, a befitting reply was given. I want to assure the country that sacrifice of bravehearts of Galwan will not go in vain.”
In an indirect reference to China and Pakistan, the Army Chief cautioned them not to test Indian Army’s patience.
‘We are committed to finding the resolution of our disputes through discussions and political efforts but no one should commit the mistake of testing our patience,’ he said.
On terrorism, the top Army Commander said that the Indian Army neutralized more than 200 terrorists in last one year.
‘Around 400 terrorists have been waiting at the launchpads near the border to sneak into Indian territory whereas number of ceasefire violations went up by 44 per cent last year,’ he added.
Briefing about the security situation in the north east region, the top Army General said that the scenario has improved a lot, and with the proactive operations, over 600 terrorists have surrendered along with their arms and ammunition.
Talking about the modernisation of the Army, he said that keeping in mind the future challenges and striking capabilities, the Force has procured arms and ammunition worth Rs 5,000 crore under emergency and fast track schemes, and under capital procurement, the Army has inked the deals worth Rs 3,000 crore this year.
He also informed that the Army has roped in top educational institutions like IITs and it has been working on Artificial Intelligence, block chain, quantum computing, unmanned systems, directed energy weapons and swarm drones.
General Naravane also informed that under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Army has identified 29 projects worth Rs 32,000 crore under its modernisation plan, while involving private sectors MSMEs, the Indian Army has been playing an important role in Atmanirbhar Bharat, which will help in promoting Swadeshi technologies and reduce dependence on imports.
Talking about the most challenging time of Covid-19 pandemic , the Army Chief said that Indian Army established 12 quarantine facilities and took care of Indians evacuated from abroad. Across 113 military hospitals 13,000 beds were dedicated for defence personnel and civilians, he added.