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President Ramnath Kovind visits Siachen Base Camp

President APJ Abdul Kalam had visited the Siachen Base Camp in 2004.

President Ramnath Kovind on Wednesday became the first president after APJ Abdul Kalam to visit the Siachen Base Camp.

President Kovind who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces interacted with the Soldiers posted in Siachen base camp at 5, 400 meters altitude. He also addressed the soldiers saying that “Every Indian is grateful to them and stands by them and their families.” The President also remembered the soldiers who were killed in action here, “I bow to those soldiers who sacrificed their lives here.”

Yesterday President Kovind had tweeted that he will be visiting the Siachen Base Camp and the Kumar Post on Wednesday, and will interact with our gallant soldiers.

“Honoured to visit Siachen and meet our brave soldiers. As Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, immensely proud of our soldiers. You are our nation’s pride, the sentinels of our liberty. Citizens sleep securely knowing you are ever awake and ever vigilant,” tweeted President Kovind.

Earlier President APJ Abdul Kalam had visited the Siachen Base Camp in 2004.

There was a special reason behind my excitement to meet you. I wanted to personally convey you the message that there is special respect in heart of all Indians for the soldiers and officers guarding the borders,” Kovind said in his address to the Army personnel at the camp.

“Siachen is the highest battlefield in the world and living a normal life in such an atmosphere is difficult. Having to be ready to fight the enemy in these conditions is even more difficult, and it is an honour for me to meet the brave soldiers who are here protect our country,” he added.

The President also laid a wreath at a memorial in the camp and later interacted with the soldiers posted there. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat was also present.

The Indian army posts are located in Siachen at altitudes ranging from 17,000 feet to 23,000 feet along the Actual Ground Positioning Line (AGPL) with Pakistan. Both countries consider Siachen glacier as a height of strategic importance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also made a surprise visit to the Siachen Glacier in October 2014 and celebrated Diwali with the army troops.

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