India

Stay safe, we will win against COVID-19: Army Chief to force

New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) Urging his men to remain safe from coronavirus, Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Friday assured all the personnel and officers posted at the border that the force is taking special care of their families and they will achieve victory in ‘Operation Namaste' .

He asked his men to first remain safe from coronavirus so that they can help the government in the fight against the pandemic.

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“I want to assure all the soldiers posted on the border that we will take special care of their families. We will also achieve victory in this operation — ‘Operation Namaste', General Naravane said.

In an address to his force, General Naravane said, “As you all know, not only India, but the entire world is going through a serious problem of coronavirus.”

To fight this problem, he said the government has taken several special steps. “In this fight, it is our duty to help the government and civil administration,” the Army chief said.

He stressed that as chief, the protection of the force is his priority. “We all have to stay away from this disease. Only when we are safe, then we will be able to perform our duty,” he said.

Talking about officers and personnel stationed at the Line of Control and Line of Actual Control, he said that they are forced to stay together at the border and other areas due to operational and tactical reasons.

He gave the example of a tank crew who have to stay together. “That is why it becomes more important for us to keep ourselves fit,” he said.

“That is why many advisories have come out from the last several weeks, which is very important to follow, he said urging the units or formations, which do not have any operational role, to follow the orders given by the government.

He said that he is aware that due to the ban imposed on leave, soldiers are facing many difficulties. “I remember that during Operation Parakram (2001 – 2002), officers and jawans did not go for holiday for months,” he said.

He assured the soldiers that their families are safe. “At the same time, I want to tell all brave heroes, war widows and veterans that everyone should take care of themselves and be safe,” said General Naravane adding that in case of any need, they should immediately contact the nearest Army Cantt without hesitation.

“For this, we have established the command wise helpline. One can ask for help during any problem,” he said.

“In the end, I would request everyone to take care of themselves. Your safety is my first responsibility,” he said.

–IANS

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