Shimla / Mandi : Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today received the Victory Flame on the occasion of ‘Sawrnim Vijay Varsh’ being celebrated to commemorate the 50 years of India’s historic victory over Pakistan at Seri Manch in Mandi.
The historic Seri stage was decorated tastefully to welcome the Vijay Mashal Yatra.
While addressing the people on the occasion, Chief Minister said this event was being celebrated to commemorate 50 years of India’s historic victory in the 1971 war.
He said event not only commemorates India’s spectacular victory over Pakistan in 1971, but it also tells the tale of the birth of Bangladesh.
He said this victory was a living document of the strategic skill and valour of the Indian soldiers.
He said the Golden Victory Year celebrations began on December 16, 2020 by lighting the ‘Victory Torch’ by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and since then Vijay Maashal has been travelling across the country.
Chief Minister said the brave sons of the state have made an unprecedented contribution in getting Himachal the honour of being Vir Bhoomi.
He said since the attainment of independence, about 1700 heroes of Himachal have laid down their lives for the country.
He said the valour of the soldiers of the State was evident from the fact that the sons of the state have received 4 Param Vir Chakra, 2 Ashok Chakra, 11 Mahavir Chakra and 23 Kirti Chakra.
A total of 1111 soldiers of the state are honoured with various medals, he added.
Jai Ram Thakur said during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, 261 heroes of Himachal had sacrificed their lives.
He said the State today has 121944 ex-servicemen, 923 Veer Naris and 36731 other military widows. He said during the Kargil war, 52 heroes of Himachal made the state proud by sacrificing their lives. During this war, the soldiers of the State won 2 Param Vir Chakra, 6 Vir Chakra and 12 Sena Medal and one Mention-in-Dispatch.
Chief Minister said the State Government has started several schemes for the welfare of ex-servicemen. He said that employment opportunities were being provided to the ex-servicemen of the state and the dependents of the soldiers by providing them reservation in Government jobs.
He also flagged off cycling expedition on the occasion.
Earlier, the Chief Minister and Lt. General visited the Shaheed Samarak at Mandi and paid floral tributes to the martyrs.
They also paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, by garlanding his statue.
Lt. General P.N. Ananthanarayanan General Officer Commanding 16th Rising Star Corps, Yol said the 1971 war with Pakistan was turning point for India as it established its supremacy over Pakistan.
He said the State of Himachal Pradesh was not only the ‘Dev Bhoomi’ but also a ‘Vir Bhoomi’, with lakhs of youths of the State serving the armed forces of the country.