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Chhatrapati Shivaji’s statue unveiled in Kupwara

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LG calls for celebrating “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj festival” in Kupwara every year on Nov 7

Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday unveiled a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Kupwara district here.

The equestrian statue of the Maratha warrior king has been installed at the Army’s 41 Rashtriya Rifles Maratha Light Infantry Regiment in the north Kashmir district which shares its border with Pakistan. Special prayers were held by a priest on the occasion.

The Maharashtra chief minister said the statue will always inspire the brave security forces.

Shinde also remembered the sacrifices of the jawans safeguarding the country’s borders, including Colonel Santosh Mahadik — the Commanding Officer of the 41 Rashtriya Rifles — who was killed in a gunfight with terrorists in the Haji Naka forest area near the Line of Control (LoC) in November 2015.

His wife Swati Mahadik also joined the Army.

“He (Col Mahadik) was from Sattara district. I am also from Sattara district, and we cannot forget his sacrifice. His wife has also dedicated her life to the country. We celebrate festivals freely when they guard our borders while facing several challenges,” Shinde said.

The chief minister said the relationship between Maharashtra and Jammu & Kashmir was very old and needs to be strengthened.

Lt Governor said it was a historic initiative and congratulated ‘Amhi Punekar’ and 41RR of the Indian Army while asserting that “great Shivaji’s” statue will be a source of inspiration for people and the army.

“The great warrior and founder of Swarajya, Shivaji was also the fountainhead of high standard of morality, right conduct and respect of all religion and sects. He was a born leader, who scripted a new history of India through his mesmerising victory against the enemy,” Sinha said.

“By unleashing his military genius and moral force, Shivaji mobilised millions of Indians and achieved sovereignty for the Maratha empire. His universal and eternal values continue to be relevant today and guide us on the path of social equality and peaceful co-existence,” the LG said.

“Youth must follow his ideas and ideals and selflessly serve the poor and weaker sections of society and contribute to nation-building,” he added.

He further called for celebrating the “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj festival” in Kupwara on 7th of November every year.

Major General Girish Kalia, GOC, Vajr Division presented the National Flags handmade by women of Kupwara to the dignitaries.

Earlier, the LG paid tributes to the fallen soldiers of the Indian Army and laid a wreath at Vajr War Memorial, HQ 28 Infantry Division in Kupwara.

Kavinder Gupta, former Deputy Chief Minister of J&K; Major General Girish Kalia, GOC, Vajr Division; Vivek Gupta,  DIG NKR Range; Ayushi Sudan, Deputy Commissioner Kupwara; Abhayraj Shirole, founder Amhi Punekar and senior officers of Army, civil and police administration were present at the ceremony.


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