Home Minister Rajnath Singh celebrates Dussehra with BSF jawans; performs ‘shastra puja’

Bikaner: Home Minister Rajnath Singh Friday celebrated Dussehra with BSF jawans and performed ‘shastra puja’ in this forward post along the highly sensitive Indo-Pak border, officials said. This was for the first time that a senior Union minister conducted the ‘shastra puja’ or worship of weapons on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami along India’s border with Pakistan. The home minister, who arrived at the frontier headquarters of the Border Security Force (BSF) here last evening, celebrated Dussehra festival with the jawans, an official said. ‘Shastra puja’ is part of the Dussehra festival which is celebrated to mark the victory of Lord Ram over demon king Ravana.

Addressing the BSF personnel, the home minister praised the multi-dimensional role of the BSF in guarding the Indo-Pak and Indo-Bangladesh borders, maintaining law and order in internal disturbances and tackling the Left Wing Extremism. Referring to the regular firing from across the border in Jammu and Kashmir, Singh said Pakistan, despite being a neighbour, never exercised good neighbourly behaviour and instead sponsoring terrorism. He said that the terrorists infiltrating into Indian territory are coming from Pakistan only. “There is proper coordination among our Army, police and paramilitary forces to fight against them,” Singh said.

The home minister said that recently launched ‘smart fence’ pilot project, which entails deploying laser-activated fences and technology-enabled barriers to plug vulnerable gaps along borders, will help the border guarding forces in maintaining peace in forward areas. The project was launched along Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir while it will be implemented along the Indo-Bangla border in Dhubri, Assam, next month, Singh said. During the two-day visit, the home minister interacted with the family members of the BSF personnel and attended a feast with the jawans, another official said. Singh also visited the family of a BSF jawan, who is currently posted in Jammu and Kashmir, and enquired about their wellbeing.

Later, the home minister reviewed the situation on the border and assessed the progress in various infrastructure projects. The 3,323-km-long Indo-Pak border is considered to be highly sensitive. Even though the border in Rajasthan is peaceful, the border guarding forces of the two countries often engaged in massive firing in Jammu and Kashmir, leading to loss of human lives and properties. Last year, the home minister had celebrated Dussehra at Joshimath in Uttarakhand along the Sino-Indian border.

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