THE GRANDSON of Param Vir Chakra awardee Abdul Hamid has alleged that former chief minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav felicitated another woman in the name of the 1965 war hero’s widow Rasoolan Bibi at an event in Azamgarh, UP, on August 30. According to Hamid’s grandson Jameel Alam, the organisers did not invite Rasoolan Bibi but her name was announced from the stage. Jameel said both he and his grandmother were at home — in Dhamupur village of UP’s Ghazipur district — on August 30, so there was no way Rasoolan Bibi could have been felicitated that day.
Calling it a “confusion”, the event’s organiser said the person compèring the show, who is not a local, did not know Rasoolan Bibi was not present and thus announced her name. In the melee, organiser Pramod Yadav said, the honour was received by Lalita Devi (70), widow of Bhagwati Singh, who died in 1962 India-China war.
Abdul Hamid was awarded Param Vir Chakra, the country’s highest gallantry award, posthumously for displaying exemplary courage in the 1965 India-Pakistan war. The event was held at Natthupur village of Azamgarh, the Lok Sabha constituency of Akhilesh’s father Mulayam Singh Yadav. Pramod Yadav, claiming he has been organising this programme for the last 17 years, had invited Akhilesh to unveil the statue of his brother, Ram Samujh Yadav, who died in the Kargil war. Jameel said that he learnt from another person that another war widow had been felicitated in Rasoolan Bibi’s name. “Later I read in the newspapers and watched a video clipping: my grandmother’s name was announced on stage but another woman was felicitated,” he said, claiming that Rasoolan Bibi, 95, was not even invited for the event.
Jameel said he raised objection when Pramod Yadav called him up on Friday. Pramod claimed to have gone to the petrol pump the family owns in Ghazipur to give the invite to Jameel’s brother Saleem. “Since he (Saleem) was not there, I gave the card to a staff member and spoke with Saleem over the phone and was assured that Rasoolan Bibi will be present at the event.”
Claiming that Saleem reassured him again two days before the event, Pramod said Rasoolan Bibi’s name was put in the list of nearly 40 kin of soldiers honoured on August 30. Jameel said he does not know whether his brother had been informed. “Saleem is busy preparing for Shahadat Diwas programme we are organising in Dhamupur village on September 10 to felicitate the kin of martyrs from adjoining districts,” Jameel said.