Tawang strategically important place: Nirmala Sitharaman

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Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman today said the picturesque Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh bordering China was a very important place strategically.

Nirmala Sitharaman

"Tawang is a very important place from both religious and strategic points of view. It reminds us of the 1962 Indo-China war," the minister said while assuring all possible help from her side for development of the border district, an official communique informed.

The minister, accompanied by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju reached Tawang today to attend a special programme at Lumla tomorrow on the occasion of Rakshabandhan.

During the programme, which is an attempt on the part of the Centre to connect with borders and its forces, the minister would be tying rakhi to the Jawans of the Indian Army.

The minister in a series of tweets informed about the brave soldiers who had laid down their lives during the 1962 India China War. The ministers's tweets read as under:

"#Azadi70saal In the Khameng sector(Arunachal) 2420 were martyred in the 1962 war.The memorial/'chorten' in #Tawang is dedicated to them."

"During the operations then, the locals had helped the soldiers. To recognise that the memorial is built in the Buddhist style- blending Nepali, Bhutanese & Tibetan styles. 40 feet stupa. Feuding the construction of the memorial (1998-'99) the locals gave ornaments, idols of the Buddha & artefacts. The Dalai Lama gave idols of the Buddha & Avalokiteshwara. All are consecrated in this memorial. At 5:30 am each day a Lama tops up the eternal lamps with ghee, makes offerings & replaces the holy water.The memorial is surrounded by 28 flags the national flag, the army's, the airforce's & flags of all the regiments which took part in 1962. Around the memorial 32 granite plaques carry the names of the martyrs."

"A room is dedicated to Subedar Joginder Singh. With just 30 men he faced 300 of Chinese who attacked his post three times. The Subedar received no reinforcements. Even with his numbers depleting he fought valiantly, only to make the supreme sacrifice during the 3rd attack.This singular valiant act couldn't succeed in keeping the enemy out, but certainly delayed their further intrusion into the nation. Thank Maj.Ganesh Natarajan & his Commandent Brigadier MP Singh (190 Mountain Brigade) for guarding this post & for the upkeep of this heart-wrenching memorial with dignity."

"A civilian in this area remarked: many of these posts are only 25-30 kms away from 'the other' territory or just 14-15 kms as the crow lies. Our forces are ever vigilant & alert. The locals show exemplary& apparent affection & care for them. So heart-warming to see & feel. Just feel so humbled to be here on #Azadi70saal."

The ministers, accompanied by Tawang MLA Tsering Tashi, DC and SP visited Tawang War Memorial and Tawang Monastery and later interacted with the heads of departments and public leaders.

During the meeting, the MLA and the DC apprised the visiting ministers of the fragile topography of the area that has resulted in numerous landslides in the recent months causing loss of lives and properties due to which many villagers had to be shifted to safer locations.

Further, highlighting on the present road condition in border areas, the MLA informed that the road has badly hampered the inflow of tourists and also reflected on the difficulties faced in evacuating the passengers/patients during emergency.

Rijiju, while taking note of the problems said that an inspection of the BRO road from Dirang to Tawang would soon be conducted accompanied by the DG, BRO and that he would also look into the widening of road from Tenga to Pinji Bridge under Bhalukpong circle.

He said that in spite of hurdles he would also press for early clearance of Lumla-Tashigang road via Bhutan.

Rijiju while informing about the steps being taken for restoration of the damages caused by the landslides further added that long-term planning which is the need of the hour would be taken into account, the communique added.

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