We Believe in India’s Defence Capabilities: Rajnath

The Defence Minister, speaking at the NDTV Defence Summit 2024, highlighted the strong transformation in India’s defence sector in the last 10 years…reports Asian Lite News

 In a veiled attack on China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that India has never attacked any country nor occupied its land, but if any country challenges India, the country is in a position to give a ‘befitting’ reply.

The Defence Minister was speaking at the NDTV Defence Summit 2024 on Thursday, wherein, he highlighted the strong transformation in India’s defence sector in the last 10 years

“Whether from land, air, or sea, if anyone attacks India, our forces will respond strongly…We have never attacked any country nor have occupied even an inch of anyone’s land. But, if anyone bats an eyelid at us, we are in a position to give a befitting reply,” he said at the event.

India and China have been locked in a military stand-off for nearly four years after the confrontations at friction points in eastern Ladakh in 2020.

The 20th round of Corps Commander-level talks between New Delhi and Beijing was held last October at Chushul as part of the ongoing efforts for overall disengagement and de-escalation to resolve the stand-off

Rajnath Singh emphasized the focus laid towards self-reliance in the defence sector, adding that the Modi government has worked on strengthening the country while believing in its capabilities.

“Ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party government came to power in 2014, defence has been one of our core priorities. We moved towards Atmanirbharta (self-reliance) in the sector. Whether it is the launch of the Department of military affairs, the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff, we have focused on indigenous production and export of defence equipment, as well as military modernization,” the Defence Minister said.

He added, “It’s not as if the previous governments didn’t work in the direction. But the major difference between their work and ours is that of vision. We aim to make India strong while putting emphasis on its capabilities, while the previous governments were a little sceptic and didn’t have that much faith in India’s capabilities.” 

The Defence Minister stated that the government’s focus had been on strengthening the Defence forces with a focus on self-reliance.

“India’s defence system became stronger because we focused on Indianness along with the defense system. We not only strengthened the defense system, but also strengthened it as per the vision of Indians” the  Defence Minister said

“Today, not only is the Indian defense system strong, but India is also emerging strongly on the global stage. And the day is not far when India will not only emerge as a developed nation, but our military power will emerge as the supreme military power in the world” the Defence Minister added. (ANI)

Indian Navy Rescues 21 From Drone-Hit Vessel

Indian Navy swiftly responded to a distress call from the Gulf of Aden where a merchant vessel caught fire after being hit by a missile, and rescued 21 crew members, including one Indian national.

The Indian Navy informed in a statement on Thursday that its naval warship, INS Kolkata swiftly acted against Wednesday’s maritime incident and all the crew members were safely evacuated to Djibouti.

As per the Navy, Barbados Flagged Bulk Carrier MV True Confidence was reportedly hit by a drone/ missile, approximately 55 nm South West of Aden, on Wednesday, resulting in a fire onboard and critical injuries to some of the crew members forcing the crew to abandon the ship.

INS Kolkata, deployed for Maritime Security Operations arrived at the scene of action at 1645 hours and rescued 21 crew members, including one Indian national, from the life raft using its integral helicopter and boats. Critical medical aid was also provided to the injured crew by the ship’s medical team.

The rescued crew, including the critically injured personnel, were evacuated to Djibouti on March 6 by INS Kolkata.

Earlier on Wednesday, INS Kolkata responded to another distress call from a Liberian-flagged container vessel, MSC Sky II which was reportedly attacked by a drone or missile in the southeast of Aden.

In a swift action after the distress call at 7:00 pm, the INS Kolkata mission deployed was immediately diverted to render necessary assistance and reached near the attacked ship at 10:30 pm, an official statement said.

Additionally, based on the request of the master, the Merchant vessel (MV) was escorted from the scene of the incident to the territorial waters of Djibouti by the Indian Navy ship.

According to the statement, the crew of 23 personnel, including 13 Indian nationals are safe and the vessel is proceeding to her next destination.

Earlier on Tuesday, a 12-member specialist firefighting team, ex-Kolkata, embarked on the MV and provided assistance in extinguishing the residual fire and smoke. Additionally, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team also embarked on the MV for residual risk assessment.

Last month, responding to the distress call from the Fishing Vessel, an Indian Naval ship, mission deployed in the North Arabian Sea for maritime security operations, provided damage control assistance and undertook strengthening of the hull, rendering the boat safe for further transit.

Medical aid was also extended to three injured crew members.

The relentless and persistent efforts of the Indian Navy reaffirm its resolve towards the safety of all vessels and seafarers transiting in the region, the statement added. (ANI)

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