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Army Day 2017: Prez greets, PM Modi salutes courage of soldiers, Gen Rawat asks to air grievances

By FnF Defence Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 15, Jan 2017, 12:39 pm IST | UPDATED: 15, Jan 2017, 14:12 pm IST

Army Day 2017: Prez greets, PM Modi salutes courage of soldiers, Gen Rawat asks to air grievances New Delhi: The President Pranab Mukherjee has extended his greetings and felicitations to all officers, soldiers, veterans, civilians, ex-servicemen and their families on the occasion of Army Day 2017.

In his message, the President has said, “I am happy to learn that the Army Day is being celebrated on 15th January, 2017.

The Indian Army plays a pivotal role in ensuring the national security of India, whilst defending our borders across some of the most perilous terrain in the world.  
It provides stability during internal security challenges and is often called upon to provide assistance during natural calamities. The Indian Army is known for its professionalism, selfless commitment and the unparalleled bravery of its rank and file.

Today, we remember our bravehearts who have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.  The nation is indebted to them and their families.  I wish to place on record our deepest appreciation for the dedication and devotion of our soldiers in their service to the nation.

I am confident the Indian Army will continue to acquit itself as a robust and vital instrument of national power in the coming years.

I wish the Army Day celebrations all success”.

Saluting the courage and invaluable service of the Army on the occasion of the 69th Army Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he is proud of his soldiers who are willing to sacrifice everything for the nation.

"Greetings to all soldiers, veterans and their families on Army Day. We salute the courage and invaluable service of the Indian Army," Prime Minister tweeted this morning.

Applauding the Indian Army for its courage and valour, the Prime Minister said it has always protected the sovereignty of India. “Indian Army always leads from the front, be it in protecting the sovereignty of our nation or helping citizens during natural disasters,” he tweeted.

"Indian Army always leads from the front, be it in protecting the sovereignty of our nation or helping citizens during natural disasters. We remember with great pride all the sacrifices made by our Army. They put their lives at risk so that 125 crore Indians live peacefully," PM Narendra Modi said in a series of tweets.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday said proper channels were in place for jawans to put across their grievances and discouraged them from using social media to air them as it would effect the overall morale of the army.  

He added that they can reach out to him directly if they weren’t satisfied with the action taken. “A few colleagues are using social media to share their problems. It effects the morale of the jawans and thereby the army,” he said.

Rawat was speaking at an event to mark Army Day, where he saluted the martyrs who laid down their lives for the country. “Salute martyrs who sacrificed their lives, our valour is because of them; indebted to them and their families,” he said.

On Pakistan, he said peace across the Line of Control is a priority, but the Indian forces will not shy away from giving a befitting reply to ceasefire violations. Rawat also added that confidence building measures were undertaken with  China at Northern borders so tensions can be done away with

Fifteen army personnel were conferred Gallantry awards, of which five were awarded posthumously. Lance Naik Hanumanthappa, who died in an avalanche at Siachen, was among the awardees.

According to news agency ANI, 14 Units were given citation for better all round performance. Later, a commemorative wreath will also be laid by Southern Army Commander Lt Gen P M Hariz, at the National War Memorial in Pune. The event will be attended by around 500 military personnel from Pune and satellite military stations.

Army Day marks the taking over of the Indian Army by the first Indian Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant General (Later Field Marshal) K M Cariappa, on January 15, 1948.

He took over the reins of the Army from Lieutenant General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India, on 15 January 1949.
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