Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal inaugurated the Punjab State War Heroes’ Memorial and Museum (PSWHMM) in Amritsar on Sunday in the presence of former service personnel.
At the ceremony, the CM and other politicians heaped praise on the country’s armed forces.
“This state-of-the art memorial would be a befitting tribute to commemorate the remarkable contribution made by the Punjabi soldiers and officers to defend the sovereignty of the country surpassing the long period of more than 600 years right from the times of sixth Guru of Sikhs Sri Guru Hargobind Singh Ji till Kargil war,” he said.
The surgical strikes of last month along the Line of Control also found mention in the CM’s speech. He complimented the prime minister for launching the strikes and commented that the “unique and bold initiative rejuvenated the spirit of patriotism” among the citizens. “Unprecedented, courageous, heroic and decisive act of Mr. Modi hardly finds any parallel across the globe,” he said.
BJP state chief Vijay Sampla, who was also present at the event credited the NDA government for bringing in the One-rank, one-pension scheme for military personnel.
At a rally, largely attended by family members of veterans, at Ranjit Avenue, the chief minister said, “I have told all DCs and SSPs across the state that they need to stand from their chair whenever an ex-service personnel enters their office. We will soon set up a dedicated helpline at Chandigarh Headquarters exclusively to redress the grievances of serving Defence persons and veterans on top priority.”
Badal listed his government’s role towards the welfare of former service personnel, including extending a cash grant worth Rs 50 lakh to war widows of martyred of 1962, ‘65 and ‘71 wars, enhancement of the one-time grant for recipients of Param Vir Chakra/Ashok Chakra from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 2 crore, for Mahavir Chakra recipients to Rs 1 crore and Vir Chakra recipients to Rs 50 lakh. Badal also said that the amount of ex-gratia to all battle casualties in case of death has been increased to Rs 5 lakh.
Former Army chief General JJ Singh, Air Chief Marshal SK Sareen General Deepak Kapoor, Captain Bana Singh, World War second veteran Major Thomas Conway, Liason officer Sikh light infantry association UK Hugh Mackay, Richard Hill, Davinder Dhillon, Brigadier KS Chandpuri besides family members Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, Captain Karam Singh, Subedar Joginder Singh, Captain Vikram Batra, Lance Naik Shingara Singh and Subedar Malkiat Singh were present on stage at inauguration.