CM Pema Khandu was at Bum La to pay tributes to Param Vir Chakra Subedar Joginder Singh.

Chief minister Pema Khandu on Friday dismissed China’s claim over Arunachal Pradesh and said “the people and the Indian Army will never fall back no matter how many times the Chinese lay claim over the state.”

“This is not 1962 but 2020, and things are different now. Right from Jammu & Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, we are fully prepared and if time desires, the people of Arunachal will not hesitate to stand behind the Indian Army,” said Khandu.

The chief minister who was at Bum La, a border pass near the Indo-Tibet border to pay tributes to Param Vir Chakra Subedar Joginder Singh on his 58th death anniversary said the development of infrastructure along the border areas of the country has received a major thrust under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The development of border areas, especially roads is important and the same is under full force in the state. We will soon witness several such infrastructural revamps in Arunachal,” said Khandu.

The chief minister, on the day, also recalled the supreme sacrifice of Subedar Singh who laid down his life fighting the Chinese army in the 1962 Indo-Chinese war.

“Fighting against all odds, Subedar Singh attained martyrdom on this day during the 1962 Indo-Sino war. The people of Arunachal salutes his bravery and shall always remember the supreme sacrifice he made for the nation,” said Khandu.

Singh, a Subedar of the 1st battalion of the Sikh Regiment was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest military gallantry award in 1962.

During the 1962 Indo-Sino war, Singh was commanding a platoon at the Bum La Pass in the then North-East Frontier Agency (now Arunachal Pradesh).

Though heavily outnumbered, he led his troops against a Chinese assault and defended his post until he was wounded and captured.

Singh who died from his injuries while in Chinese custody is believed to have single-handedly killed several Chinese men and create history in the Indian Army.

Meanwhile, the day also saw, Kulwant Kaur, Subedar Singh’s daughter inaugurate a newly built war memorial in her father’s name.

The memorial, constructed by the Arunachal Pradesh government has been built just below the famous IB Ridge to commemorate Singh’s heroic defence against the China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Legislators Tsering Tashi, Phurpa Tsering, Jambey Tashi and several top officers of the Indian Army were present on the occasion.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com