Reyaz Rashid

Prez Kovind pays tributes to Kargil martyrs at Dagger War Memorial in Baramulla

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Visits HAWS Gulmarg; chairs Unified Command Meet in Srinagar

Baramulla: President Ram Nath Kovind visited the Dagger War Memorial in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Monday to pay tributes to the soldiers who laid down their lives for the safety and security of the country.

Kovind was scheduled to visit the War Memorial at Drass in Ladakh to pay homage to personnel of the armed forces killed in the 1999 Kargil war, but bad weather forced cancellation of plans and he instead paid tributes to the fallen soldiers on the 22nd anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas at Baramulla.

The President, in a message in the visitor’s book at the Dagger War Memorial, wrote: “The nation salutes the soldiers and officers of the 19th Infantry Division, who have been safeguarding our borders in the most hostile terrains under adverse weather conditions as our frontline troops.”

They have scripted exceptional stories of indomitable courage, bravery and sacrifice, he said in his message.

“The Dagger War Memorial evokes profound respect for the brave fighters who laid down their lives for the safety and security of our country. I am sure that this memorial will educate the people of India about the highest values of the Indian army and inspire them. Jai Hind!” he wrote.

The president, who was accompanied by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, also visited the High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) at Gulmarg and interacted with the troops there.

“It has been a pleasure to visit the High Altitude Warfare School at Gulmarg. Established by the great General Thimayya, it has emerged as one of the most premier institutions in the field of warfare,” Kovind wrote in the visitor’s book of the training school.

He also said that he was happy to interact with the soldiers.

“I wish them success in their endeavours to provide safety and security to our country. Jai Hind!” he wrote.

Earlier in the day, bad weather forced the cancellation of President Kovind’s visit to Drass in Ladakh to pay homage to martyrs on the 22nd anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas, officials said here.

It is for the second time in three years that the President could not fly to Drass for the Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations.

Officials said the President’s flight could not take off to Drass due to bad weather.

In 2019, bad weather had prevented Kovind from visiting Drass and instead, he paid tributes by laying a wreath at a war memorial at the Army’s 15 Corps headquarters in Badamibagh here.

The celebrations were not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The officials said the plan B was put into motion following the cancellation of the plan A (visit to Drass) and the President visited the War Memorial in north Kashmir to pay homage to the martyrs.

Meanwhile, President later chaired a high level joint security meet at Rajbhawan here with top officials of the security grid.

Local news agency KNO quoted a senior officer as saying that top officials including DGP Dilbagh Singh, GoC 15 Corps DP Pandey, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary J&K, IGPs of BSF and CRPF were present.  The meeting was co-chaired by Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha

Pertinently, the President of India is also the Commander-in-Chief of the country’s armed forces.

“President was briefed about the security situation post abrogation of Article 370, anti-militancy operations, and infiltration status,” the officer said

Sources said the President praised security forces including police and the army for maintaining synergy, coordination and dealing in a professional manner with the security situation of Kashmir and bringing peace in the region.

He also praised the security forces for creating a peaceful atmosphere in Kashmir over the past few years.

Sources said that President Kovid also stressed on maintaining close relations with the general public and putting in best efforts to mitigate the sufferings of the people. (With inputs from KNO)

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