Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that India will not hesitate to cross borders if it is targetted by terrorists from outside. The Minister was addressing a programme to honour the war heroes of 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War in Guwahati.

He said, North Eastern states are developing rapidly due to peace and tranquility on Indo-Bangladesh borders.

Mr. Singh informed that the Armed forces never want the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) in any state, it is the situation which compels its imposition. He said AFSPA is being removed from the areas where ground situation has improved.

The Defence Minister also informed that India which used to be importer of defence products is now exporting to various countries. India is in the 25th position in defence export and has set a target of exporting 35 thousand crore rupees of defence products by 2024-25.

Speaking on the occasion Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the Indo-Pak war of the 1971 is a land mark event in the history of this sub-continent. He said the people of Assam played an important role during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War and extended help to the Mukti Bahini and shelter to the people.

The Assam Chief Minster also informed that his government has decided to increase the ex gratia for the armed forces personnel who are killed in action to 50 lakh Rupees from the 20 lakh Rupees and a government job for the family members. He also informed that his government has also decided to give 2 percent reservation to the ex-servicemen in government jobs.

Assam government today honoured 105 war veterans hailing from Assam for their distinguished services and sacrifices during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. A total of 9 personnel lost their lives during that war. Their wives and children received the honour.

Lt. Col. (Retd) Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir, who is a war veteran of Bangladesh, also attended the programme. Bangladesh government awarded him the Bir Protik and Independence Award-the highest civilian award of that country. Mr. Zahir received India’s fourth highest civilian award Padma Shri in 2021.

Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi and India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Vikram K. Doraiswami and senior armed forces personnel were present during the programme.

Later in the day, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the ongoing 7th India Industrial Fair, 2022 in Guwahati.