Dimapur, November 15: Nagaland MP (Lok Sabha), Neiphiu Rio today flagged off the Assam Rifles Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Unity & Heritage Tri-Nation Motorcycle expedition from 32 Assam Rifles HQs, Dimapur.
Delivering his address at the function, Rio said that peace is not only the absence of conflict, but maintaining harmony amongst the communities. “The tri-nation tour to bring unity and foster peace and harmony in the region and particularly the Northeastern states has sent a very good message and I am proud to be here with you this morning as a representative of the State in the Parliament and also as the son of an Ex-Serviceman,” the chief guest stated.
The MP rued that most areas in the region were declared as “disturbed” and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act imposed; but stated that of late, things were getting better and that the Armed Forces have a special responsibility not only during conflict, guarding and maintaining law and order, but also fostering peace. “We hope that this conducive atmosphere will continue and that the Naga political issue will be solved soon so that we will have real peace in the land,” Rio said.
Lauding the Assam Rifles for doing a commendable job, the chief guest congratulated the motorcycle expedition for its success in covering about 1800 kms out of a total of 2150 kms and hoped that the Assam Rifles will continue to propagate peace, unity and harmony amongst the people.
Giving a brief report about the expedition, the team leader, Col. Pratyush Kumar Singh Gaur, Commandant of 46 Assam Rifles, Aizawl informed that the team consists of 33 personnel selected from various units of the Assam Rifles. He stated that the response from all the places they visited was “encouraging” especially the ex-servicemen and war widows. He recalled their meeting with the war veterans in Bangladesh, besides participating in social activities with the NCC cadets, youths and students in various states. “We are hopeful that we have been able to convey the theme of our expedition to them – that is unity and pride in our national heritage,” Col Gaur stated.
It may be mentioned that the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Unity & Heritage Motorcycle expedition across 6 (six) Northeastern States of India, Myanmar, Bangladesh is a Tri-nation expedition covering a distance of 2150 kms on motorcycles. Its aim is to spread the message of peace and unity, national integration in India besides enhancing cultural and social awareness and a reach-out to Ex-Servicemen, and War Widows of the Northeastern States. It was flagged off on 30th October 2017 from Shillong by Meghalaya Governor, Ganga Prasad and Lt. Gen. Shokin Chauhan, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, DGAR.
This expedition was conceptualized by the Assam Rifles to commemorate the 142nd Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, popularly known as the “Iron Man of India” for his totally uncompromising commitment to national integration. He is also called the “Unifier of India.” Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel’s birthday which falls on October 31st, was declared as Rashtriya Ekta Divas or National Unity Day by the Government of India in 2014 and is observed annually.
The chief guest was received by Brigadier Shibajit Das, DIG, 6 Sector Assam Rifles who also delivered the welcome address; Col. Bruce Fernandez, Addl. DIG, 6 Sector Assam Rifles and team leader Col. Pratyush Kumar Singh Gaur. Upon arrival, the chief guest was introduced to the members of the expedition. The motorcyclists proceeded to Guwahati, from where they will go further on to Haflong, Silchar and then finally to Shillong where the expedition will conclude on November 22.
This Press Release was sent by Rokovilie Chakhesang, who can be contacted at rokovilie(dot)c(at)gmail(dot)com.