PM Modi spends Diwali with troops at remote border location
PM dedicates this year's Diwali to armed forces personnel
Modi says Sandesh2Soldiers campaign has drawn huge respons
NEW DELHI: Amidst heightened tensions along the Jammu & Kashmir border with the two sides exchanging fire in RS Pura sector of Jammu and at Samba and Kathua, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent the day with troops at a remote location adjoining the Chinese border in Himachal Pradesh. Accompanied by Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, he spent more than three hours at Sumdo interacting with men from IndoTibetan Border Police and Dogra Scouts in a bid to raise the morale of the troops."Everyone spends Diwali with their own, that's why I'm here," he said.
Dedicating the festival to armed forces personnel, the PM said he had "fulfilled the promise" he made to ex-servicemen on the one-rank-onepension (OROP) scheme, adding that the government had released Rs 5,500 crore to implement OROP, an issue that had been hanging fire for the last 40 years.
In his monthly `Mann ki Baat' programme on the radio, Modi, in an apparent reference to the ongoing troubles in the Kashmir valley, said: "Unity in diversity is our strength. It is the responsibility of every citizen and all governments to forge unity and curb separatist tendencies to save the country ."
He hailed the people including celebrities for sending overwhelming messages to his "Sandesh2Soldiers" campaign. "I had invited everyone to participate in Sandesh2Soldiers campaign and I have been humbled by the response. From students, villagers and traders to political leaders and sports persons, everyone has sent a Diwali message," he said.
In a departure from tradition, BSF on Sunday refused to exchange sweets and greetings with Pakistan Rangers along the International Boundary on the occasion of Diwali. Border guards of both countries have for the past several years exchanged sweets on major religious festivals like Eid and Diwali, and also on Independence Days of both countries.
BSF is on maximum alert in Punjab following recent ceasefire violations and Pakistan-backed terrorism incidents in neighbouring Jammu & Kashmir.
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Last modified on Monday, 31 October 2016 10:23