To protest against unfulfilled promises by the Centre, the widow of a Havildar in Indian Army returned the Sena Medal, awarded to her husband posthumously, to Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana on Monday for handing over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visits the city Tuesday.
Havildar Kashmir Singh died in 1987 in Sri Lanka along with 28 other jawans of 13 Sikh Light Infantry when the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had sent Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) there under Operaion Pawan. Kashmir was killed in Jaffna by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE). His body never arrived in India.
Surinder Kaur, wife of Kashmir Singh, said: “I was promised 10 acres of land and a gas agency or a petrol pump at that time by the Centre. I have documents as proof. A job was also promised to me. However, till date, I have not been given anything. So, I have decided to return the Sena Medal, which was awarded to my husband posthumously, so that it is sent to the Prime Minister till my demands are not met. I don’t need this medal. They can keep it with them.”
Hailing from Gurdaspur’s Niko Saran village, Surinder Kaur, with the help of NGO Universal Human Rights, came to Ludhiana when she came to know about the Prime Minister’s proposed visit.
Commenting on Surinder Kaur’s decision to return the medal, Satnam Singh Dhaliwal, president of the NGO, said,”We returned the medal to Swati Tiwana, Assistant Commissioner General (ACG) to DC Ludhiana, as he was busy with PM ‘s security arrangements.”
Claiming that the government also backtracked from its promise of providing a job to her son, Kaur said, “I had been offered a job after my husband’s death. I had given in writing that I cannot take up the job and that instead it should be given to my son when he becomes an adult. But now they have backtracked from their promises.”
Surinder Kaur said a statue of her martyred husband has been erected in the village where an annual mela is organised.