New Delhi, Oct 20 (ANI): India's top defence brass, including Defence Minister AK Antony, Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, and the three service chiefs were present at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi today to honour the martyrs of the 1962 India-China war.
The Defence Minister led the wreath-laying ceremony for the first time, remembering the martyrs. The three service chiefs followed by Minister of State MM Pallamraju also laid wreaths at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate.
This is the first time that soldiers who died in the 1962 war are being remembered.
Nearly 4000 soldiers and officers lost their lives in the month-long war with China, which began on October 20, 1962. The Indian Army was forced to retreat from Arunachal Pradesh despite its soldiers putting up a valiant fight.
The Defence Minister made it clear that the major lessons India learned from the 1962 war with China was to strengthen its capabilities and its armed forces.
"We are now in a position to evolve our armed forces, intelligence agencies and all those who are involved in the protection of our national security that process is now much more in a strong position. Our armed forces are confident, they can protect every inch of our borders-land, air and sea," he said after paying tribute to the martyrs of Sino-India war.
Ruling out any possibility of China repeating 1962, Antony said on Saturday present India is not of that period and is now fully capable of defending itself, and added that over the years successive governments have strengthen the capabilities of the armed forces.
Antony said: "India of today is not India of 1962. Successive Governments have strengthened our armed forces and infrastructure. We are capable of defending every inch of our border. At the same time, we have through peaceful negotiations have been able to work a solution to the border issue. There is a mechanism resolve incidents at the border."
"We make a renewed pledge to do everything humanly possible to protect our boundaries," he added.
Antony also said India had earlier not focused on enhancing infrastructure in northeastern states but "now we have moved very fast."
"And we will vigorously continue to strengthen our capabilities. So, now we are confident, our armed forces will be able to protect our borders in the event of any threat to our national security," he added. (ANI)