New Delhi: India will never provoke a conflict but won't back off if one is thrust on it, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.
"India will never provoke a conflict by being the first to open fire across the borders but will never back off...," he said. "Our forces will give a befitting reply to shelling and gunfire from across the border."
The minister was speaking here at the inauguration of the Border Security Force (BSF) Golden Jubilee seminar.
Rajnath Singh said secured borders were integral to India's development and the BSF was doing a "wonderful job not only in guarding the land borders but is also taking care of the riverine and coastal borders along Bangladesh and Gujarat".
The government has sanctioned six Floating Border Out-Posts (BOPs) for the Bangladesh border and three for Gujarat, he said.
Saying the government would provide the BSF the latest weaponry and other equipment, the minister lauded the BSF personnel for undertaking welfare activities in border areas.