Gangtok, June 25: (IPR) ‘Veeron Ko Naman’, a special programme to pay tribute to the brave soldiers of the Indian Army who were martyred during the recent standoff at the India-China border along Galwan valley in Ladakh, was held at M.G Marg in the State Capital this evening.
The programme was graced by Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim Shri Ganga Prasad and Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang, along with Hon’ble Speaker Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, MP Lok Sabha, Chief Secretary, DGP and senior officers of the State Government, senior officers of the Army, other dignitaries, Ex-servicemen, members of the Civil Society, Social Organizations, Media personnel and local gentry.
The programme commenced with the Shok Shastra Salami or the presentation of arms by Sikkim Armed Police and Sikkim Police Band and laying of a wreath on the ‘Shaheed Bedika’ / Memorial of the twenty martyrs by the Hon’ble Governor and Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim, and dignitaries. A brief background of the solemn occasion and the names of the Martyrs was elucidated by DIG Range, Sikkim Police, Shri Prawin Gurung.
After the wreath-laying ceremony, two minutes of silence was observed as a mark of a special tribute to the martyrs. This was followed by a gun salute by the Sikkim Armed Police carefully synchronized with the tune of the Sikkim Police Band.
Meanwhile, a floral tribute to the martyrs was also offered by representatives of various associations amidst patriotic songs. Thereafter, the artists of the Culture Department presented patriotic songs. The tune of ‘Eh Mere Watan Ke Logon’ reverberated the air as members of the public came forward to pay their tribute to the brave martyrs.
Hon’ble Governor Shri Ganga Prasad in his address paid rich tribute to the brave soldiers of the Indian army who lost their lives while fighting for the nation. He termed this as the highest form of sacrifice to the motherland. The Hon’ble Governor stated that the people of Sikkim stand shoulder to shoulder with the nation to safeguard against any external forces. He expressed his deepest condolences to the members of the families of the brave martyrs.
The Hon’ble Governor stated that this is new India which has learnt to protect and preserve its territory. He urged the people of Sikkim not to pay heed to any rumour floating around. He reiterated that the country is safe in the hands of the brave Indian Army. The Hon’ble Governor concluded his address with a patriotic poem inciting brevity and valour to deal with any adversity.
Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang while paying his homage to the brave martyrs reiterated that the purpose of organizing the programme is to reinforce the message to the nation and the world that Sikkim and its people stand with our brave soldiers/martyrs who have made the supreme sacrifice for the country. The Hon’ble Chief Minister stated that the Government and the people of Sikkim are committed to providing all possible support in safeguarding the nation. The Hon’ble Chief Minister said that the country has always been safe under the constant vigil of the brave soldiers. While paying his rich tribute to the martyred soldiers, the Hon’ble Chief Minister recounted the sacrifice of all the brave soldiers of the Indian Army who have lost their lives since Independence.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister stated that the State of Sikkim is ready to go to any extent to lend assistance to the nation. He announced that the State Government is presenting an amount of Rs. One Lakh each to the families of the 20 martyrs.
On the occasion, National General Secretary, Bharatiya Janta Party, Shri Ram Madhav joined the event through live webcast. He lauded the Government of Sikkim for organizing the befitting tribute to the brave martyrs.
Likewise, the function was joined through live webcast by Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for DoNER, Government of India. In his message, the Union Minister of State congratulated the Hon’ble Governor and Hon’ble Chief Minister for having conceptualized and visualized this homage ceremony. He said that coming from a border state himself, he could understand the sacrifice made day and night by the brave soldiers of the Indian Army. There is no compensation for what the Army does for the country and the people of the nation. We can only be eternally grateful, he said. He stated that it is appropriate that this function is being held in Sikkim, because the people of Sikkim are known for their patriotism. Whenever the country goes through any challenge, Sikkim has always exhibited great strength and forbearance and inspired the rest of the nation. Dr. Singh offered his deepest condolences to the families of the martyrs. He said that we should all contribute our bit towards the country. This he said would be a befitting homage to these brave martyrs. He concluded by saying that India has always stood for peace, but whenever threatened, it has retaliated with valour, sacrifice and bravery. This has been inherited by the coming generation. He concluded his address by once again complimenting the State of Sikkim for organizing the event.
This was followed by the live webcast of the message by Minister of State for Home, Government of India, Shri G. Kishan Reddy. He congratulated the Government of Sikkim on behalf of the Home Ministry, Government of India for organizing the homage programme. The Minister sent out a strong message that the country will not let the supreme sacrifice of the martyrs in vain.
The programme culminated with the lighting of candles and mobile flashlights by the dignitaries and members of the public to pay homage to the martyrs. The entire stretch of MG Marg presented a unique spectacle symbolizing the collective gesture of the people of Sikkim. Loud cheers of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai and ‘Bande Mataram’ brought the day’s programme to an end.