Indian PM Narendra Modi calls soldiers 'family members,' lauds them for surgical strike

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met soldiers at the Nowshera sector in the border district of Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir on the occasion of Diwali.

Let's take a look:

Assesses border security situation

PM Modi assessed the border situation in Jammu and Kashmir. He lauded the connectivity in border areas such as Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, Jaisalmer, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He said this has helped India enhance its deployment capability.

India and China are at a standoff at the Line of Actual Control despite holding several rounds of talks for the disengagement of the military.

(Photograph:PTI)

Pays tribute to soldiers who lost their lives

The prime minister paid tribute to soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty, at Nowshera in Jammu and Kashmir.

Talking about the Pulwama strike, Modi said ''The role played by this brigade during the surgical strike fills everyone with pride. I will remember that day forever as it was decided that all soldiers should return before sunset... I was sitting beside the phone and was asking about the whereabouts of every soldier.''

(Photograph:ANI)

Distribution of sweets

PM Modi distributed sweets to soldiers and said ''The commitment to self-reliance in the defence sector is the only way to change old methods and progress.''

He also said the role of women in the area of security of the nation is touching newer heights as they are being given permanent commission in the army now

(Photograph:PTI)

Honours and interacts with veterans

Prime Minister Narendra Modi honoured and interacted with veterans at Nowshera. Since taking over as prime minister, Modi has made it a point to meet troops in a border region on Diwali, starting from a visit to Siachen in 2014.

He told soldiers ''I want to spend Diwali with family members; so I join you on the festival.''

(Photograph:ANI)

Festival of lights

One of the most popular Hindu festivals, Diwali is associated with the day when Lord Ram is believed to have returned to Ayodhya with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman after defeating Ravana, and is seen as a celebration of the victory of good over evil.

(Photograph:PTI)

Read in App