The Punjab Congress has written to the Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, seeking justice for the family of an Army jawan who died on active duty while driving the private vehicle of his Commanding Officer but he was instead shown to be on leave. Taking up the case of Naik Satnam Singh, the Congress General Secretary Virpal Kaur Sukhna has requested the Army Chief to re-open investigation in the case because the wife of the deceased jawan has been denied proper compensation because his death has been shown to have taken place while on leave.
In a letter written on July 24, Virpal Kaur has brought out that Naik Satnam Singh, a resident of Bathinda, was deputed to drive the personal vehicle of his Commanding Officer Col Sandeep Singh of 670 Army Aviation Squadron, and was always shown to be on duty while he discharged his duty. On February 5, 2015 Naik Satnam Singh picked up Col Sandeep Singh and his family from New Delhi and while on their way to Punjab the car met with an accident near Mukerian in which Satnam Singh died while other occupants of the car received minor injuries.
The Congress general secretary has alleged that the jawan was shown to be on leave in a bid to cover up the fact that he was being used as a driver of a private vehicle. “Col Sandeep Singh was not entitled to take Naik Satnam Singh for driving his personal car on his private visits but this had been going on for quite some time. When Naik Satnam Singh died, Col Sandeep Singh declared him on leave. Merely to save himself from any disciplinary action and minor penalties he as commanding officer did gross injustice to the widow of Naik Satnam Singh and his three daughters,” the letter says.
Stating that the deceased owned just half an acre of land as ancestral property, the Congress leader says that it would be very difficult for his wife to fend for her family as the compensation that she got after his death was also curtailed as he was shown on leave and not on active duty. Speaking to The Indian Express, Veerpal Kaur said that since the jawan has been shown to have been on leave, his wife was not entitled to any government job also even though he was on duty as he was obeying the orders of his Commanding Officer.
The Army Chief has been requested to order a fresh inquiry to probe the death of the jawan and exempt the fees of his three daughters in Army School till Class 12. He has also been asked to permit the wife of the deceased to continue living in separated family quarters at Bathinda military station as the youngest daughter is only three-years-old.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines