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In pics: Modi makes surprise visit, spends Diwali with soldiers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an hour-long surprise visit to Amritsar’s Khasa cantonment around noon on Wednesday and paid homage at the 1965 Dograi war memorial before spending time with soldiers on the occasion of Diwali.

punjab Updated: Nov 11, 2015 18:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Narendra Modi,Diwali,Amritsar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying homage at the Dograi Memorial in Amritsar on Wednesday.(Narendra Modi’s twitter account)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an hour-long surprise visit to Amritsar’s Khasa cantonment around noon on Wednesday and paid homage at the 1965 Dograi war memorial before spending time with soldiers on the occasion of Diwali.

“I have come here to celebrate Diwali with my family (army jawans). After becoming the Prime Minister, I got the opportunity to visit Siachen and celebrate Diwali with jawans there (last year),” Modi said after laying a wreath at the memorial, which was the theatre of one of the fiercest battles fought against Pakistan and won by Indian forces on September 22, 1965.

The visit comes in the backdrop of the golden jubilee of India’s victory in the 1965 war.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the jawans at the Barki memorial, Ferozepur. (PTI)

“I have seen the great contribution of the uniform. The armed forces of our nation have played a great role in all important battles. It’s because of their valour, dedication and dreams that the whole world looks at India with respect. It is not only because of the uniform but character of the armed forces,” Modi, who was sporting an army cap, said in his address to the soldiers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha at Air Force Station Halwara, near Ludhiana, Punjab . (PTI)

Accompanied by army chief General Dalbir Singh, Modi arrived in a helicopter that landed in the cantonment. The civil administration, including the police, and the media were not aware of the PM’s plans till he landed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Barki memorial, Ferozepur. (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Halwara Airforce Station, in Punjab. (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Air Force Station Halwara, near Ludhiana, Punjab. (PTI)

Modi left in the chopper after an hour but did not visit Golden Temple, where security is already tight in view of the Sikh hardliners’ decision to march to the shrine amid the Panthic crisis.

First Published: Nov 11, 2015 14:09 IST