In a surprise to brave soldiers, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi celebrated the festival of lights, Diwali, with Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel at Harsil located near India-China border in Uttarakhand on Wednesday (7).
Greeting the soldiers on the occasion, the prime minister said that their devotion to duty in the remote icy heights, is enabling the strength of the nation, and securing the future and the dreams of 1.25 billion Indians, a statement for prime minister’s office said.
He added that Diwali is the festival of lights; it spreads the light of goodness and dispels fear. The soldiers, through their commitment and discipline, are also helping to spread the sense of security and fearlessness among the people.
The prime minister also recalled on the occasion that he has been visiting soldiers on Diwali, ever since he was the chief minister of Gujarat state. He also spoke of his interactions with the personnel of ITBP, years ago when he was part of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Modi offered sweets to the army men as part of the Diwali celebrations. He has also interacted with the local people who had gathered to greet him on the occasion of the festival of lights.
Harshil is a cantonment area located at a height of 7,860 feet close to the India-China border in Uttarkashi district.
Prime minister also visited Kedarnath on Wednesday and offered prayers at the historic Kedarnath Temple. He extensively walked around the entire temple complex, where significant reconstruction works are in progress. He was briefed by senior officials about the progress of the works and interacted briefly with various people present at the temple complex.
The Kedarnath Temple complex is currently the focus of a major development and reconstruction effort, following the severe flood and landslide that affected the region in 2013.