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National

Sena Medal awardee speaks of ‘humiliation’ Gujarat BJP govt took 7 yrs to pay Rs 3,000

February 22, 2019 06:35 AM

COURTESY MIRROR FEB 22

Sena Medal awardee speaks of ‘humiliation’
BJP govt took 7 yrs to pay Rs 3,000
Naik Lalji Patel was awarded the Sena Medal in 2011 for exemplary bravery during an anti-terror operation. When he found out that he was to receive only Rs 3,000 as monetary reward, he got furious and told the officer to donate it to charity
Jayvirsinh Rana
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TWEETS @ahmedabadmirror

The BJP government, which stands accused by the Congress of “gifting” Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani by helping him get an offset contract under Rafale fighter jet deal, finds it difficult to pay a paltry sum of a couple of thousands to its gallantry award winning jawans. Ask Gujarat’s Naik Lalji Patel, a gallantry medal winner, about his ordeal and he is left red-faced. Awarded Sena Medal for bravery in 2011 during his posting at Jammu and Kashmir region, he did not expect the “humiliation” that was in store for him.

A resident of Kambli village near Unjha, it took him seven years and several trips to government offices to complete formalities for a measly Rs 3,000. When he heard of the meagre sum being given away by the state government as reward for soldiers, he was furious and asked the official to donate it to charity. The amount was, however, later deposited to his bank account by the government.


Naik Lalji Patel said, “I had to visit Himmatnagar frequently to complete the formalities. I was then told that my documents will be sent to Ahmedabad. At Ahmedabad, I was asked to go to Mehsana board as my case was to be handled there. I then went to Mehsana in 2013 only to find out that I will be given Rs 3,000. It was humiliating. When I heard that, I told him I will give you Rs 5,000 more. Donate it to charity. My blood boils when I recall that interaction.”

Manish Doshi, Congress’s chief spokesperson said, “While BJP government can easily give Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani, why is the state government taking 7 years to give Rs 3,000 to a soldier who has fought to protect the nation? This is the real face of BJP government that is doing injustice to our soldiers who dedicate their lives for our contry’s safety.”

Patel has served peace-keeping mission in Lebanon in 2013 for seven months. He received Sena medal in 2011 following an operation that killed two terrorists. “I was deployed with the Naga regiment in Kashmir. Around 1.03 am, we received a message regarding suspected infiltration. We went to Pir Panjal range and carried out a successful operation. Both the terrorists were killed,” he said. From 2009 to 2011 and from 2014 to December 2016, he served J&K. He received a payout of Rs 3,000 just seven months ago and refused to accept it. However, the amount got deposited in his bank account in 2018. He said, “My father is a farmer. My brother wanted to join the army but could not do so because he had not completed class 10. I joined the army to fulfil my brother’s dreams. We don’t want any money; it is the honour that matters. It angers me when I see the state government give away such a small sum. This is the reason Gujarati youth do not want to join the armed forces.”

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) A M Tiwari was remained unavailable for comment.

 

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