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Oct 20, 2012 at 12:08pm IST

Soldiers who died in 1962 war honoured for the first time

New Delhi: The country on Saturday paid homage to the soldiers who fought the 1962 Indo-China war. And for the first time, Defence Minister AK Antony along with the top military brass of the country paid homage to those who died fighting in the war.

Antony and the three service Chiefs followed by Minister of State Pallamraju laid wreaths at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India gate. More than 3000 Indian soldiers died in the war. This is the first time that those who died in the 1962 war are being remembered. "We are sincerely trying to file peaceful solution to the long pending border issues through negotiations. The armed forces are much more in a strong process," Antony said.

Earlier, ruling out any possibility of China repeating 1962, Antony said present India is not of that period and is now fully capable of defending itself. "Infrastructure in the northeast is not up to our satisfaction but it has improved a lot as compared to the past... India of 2012 is not India of that period. We are now capable of defending every inch of our country," he told reporters on the sidelines of a Navy conference here.

He was replying to a question on India vis-a-vis China 50 years after the 1962 war in which India had suffered defeat. Antony said India had earlier not focused on enhancing infrastructure in northeastern states but "now we have moved very fast. Now our infrastructure, assets and manpower have substantially improved compared to the past".

He said India will continue to build its infrastructure and provide best equipment to its armed forces while continuing to its dialogue with China on the border issue and maintaining cordial relations with it. "On the one side, we are strengthening our capability in the border and on the other, we have established a border management mechanism with China that is now functioning satisfactorily," he said.