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Friday, October 14, 2016
Army even helps people who throw stones at soldiers: Prime Minister Modi
The Indian Army doesn’t think about stone-pelters while carrying out humanitarian work, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday, seeking to deflect criticism of security personnel over alleged excesses during violent protests in Kashmir.
The Prime Minister’s comments come in the backdrop of allegations of excessive use of force by security personnel in Kashmir, rocked by violent street protests for more than three months.
“While extending help, my soldiers did not for once think that these are the same people who pelt stones at them,” Modi said at an ex-servicemen’s rally before inaugurating a war memorial.
Referring to rescue and relief work by security personnel in flood-hit Kashmir and Kedarnath in Uttarakhand, Modi said it “is the call of humanity that inspires our armed forces when they are helping people during natural disasters”.
He added that the “biggest strength and weapon” of the armed forces were determination will power “that is derived from the support of 1.2 billion Indians.
“The Army, BSF, CRPF and Coast Guard jawans sacrifice their lives so that we can sleep peacefully,” Modi said.
He also sent out a message to Pakistan, saying that among the Indians rescued from war-torn Yemen were a few citizens of the neighbouring country.
“…This is the example of humanity of our Indian Army.”
India blames Pakistan-backed militants of attacking an army camp at Uri recently as also for the siege of an air force base in Pathankot earlier.
Modi also recalledthe sacrifices made by Indian soldiers during the two world wars and added that India is one of the biggest contributors to the UN peacekeeping forces, deployed in strife-torn countries.
The war named memorial Shourya Smarak is built over 12 acres on Arera Hills at a cost of approximately Rs 41 crore. It has a 62-foot Shaurya Stambh, an amphitheatre with a capacity to seat 1,000 people and galleries to showcase the armed forces’ history and wars the country has fought.
The foundation stone of the war memorial was laid on February 24, 2010, by the then army chief General Deepak Kapoor.