GANGTOK: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will celebrate Dussehra with Army soldiers in a high-altitude border area in Sikkim and perform ‘Shastra Puja’ (worship of weapons) on the occasion on Sunday.
In a bid to boost the morale of the troops deployed against the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) along the border with China, the defence minister will travel to Sikkim on Saturday afternoon for a two-day visit, during which he will visit a number of border posts of the Indian Army besides inaugurating a few infrastructure projects.
Sources said during his visit to the Himalayan state, the Defence Minister is slated to inaugurate a strategically vital alternate road to Nathula. The new alternate road constructed by Border Road Organisation is a 19.3-kilometre long double lane stretch connecting state capital Gangtok with Nathula.
The new route will come as a relief from the previous road which remains hit by landslides and mud slips during rainy season. The Defence Minister will be accompanied by Sikkim Chief Minister PS Tamang during the inauguration of the new road to the frontier.
Singh’s visit will be the first since border tensions first broke out between India and China in April-May this year in Ladakh. India shares 885-kilometre long border with China in the Northeastern sector.
On Saturday, Singh has reached the Sukna Military Camp in Darjeeling district. He was accompanied by the Chief of the Army Staff, General Manoj Mukund Naravane.