Even as Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Friday hailed the sacrifices and valour of the heroes of the Kargil War with Pakistan on its 20th anniversary, no minister or MLA from the ruling Congress party attended a felicitation function for war widows and soldiers at Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum in Ludhiana.
Station Commander, Dholewal Military Complex, Brigadier Manish Arora was the chief guest of the function that was attended families of 37 martyrs and seven disabled soldiers from 14 districts of Malwa region.
From the district administration’s side, SDM West Amrinder Singh Malhi was the only government functionary that attended the event. Families of martyrs Sepoy Balwant Singh, Naik Nirmal Singh, Hawaldar Darshan Singh and Sukchain Singh, all from Ludhiana district, expressed displeasure at the absence of the legislators and the ministers at the event organised by the District Sainik Welfare Board SS Boparai, District Sainik Welfare Board officer said, “We had sent invites to all the MLAs of Ludhiana. I have no idea as to why no one turned up. Families of 37 martyrs from 14 districts of Malwa Punjab and seven disabled servicemen were honoured for their services”.
Col (Retd) HS Kahlon, district head of guardians of governance (GoG), too confirmed that no political leader attended the event. “I believe that government should organize programmes in schools and colleges to inculcate patriotism among youngsters for this day. Remembering the families of martyrs is important. At the same time, families of martyrs have raised this issue that they must be taken to the site of the war in Kargil at least once. At least Punjab government can do this for martyrs’ families belonging to Punjab,” he said.
Addressing the gathering, Brigadier Manish Arora recalled the heroic deeds of the brave sons in defending the borders of the country. He said that the exemplary courage shown by the Indian Army in that war, despite hostile conditions, hardly finds any parallel across the globe. He said that every countryman would ever remain indebted to these martyrs for their supreme sacrifice. Wing Commander Gurpreet Singh detailed the gathering about the contribution of the army and Air Force in the Kargil War.