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Retired Captain to burn medals at Amar Jawan Jyoti
December 27, 2005 01:46 IST
Heart broken and with little hope in sight, a retired army captain has threatened to destroy his six medals in Delhi on Wednesday alleging that he has not been given his due emoluments for the services rendered.
"I was Commissioned in the 5th Batallion of the Parachute Regiment on June 22, 1968. I met with an accident on the Tibet border in Himachal Pradesh, caused by a landslide, on November 21, 1970, in which one Major and the jeep driver died while I lost my arm. My leg suffered multiple fractures leaving me with 80 per cent disability," says Chanan Singh Sidhu Sidhu while narrating his tale of woes.
He says he is going to destroy his medals at Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi on Wednesday because gross injustice has been meted out to him, while referring to the communiqué, which he sent to President A P J Abdul Kalam.
Sidhu claims he has not been given his full service emoluments as per the rules.
"I have decided to burn the medals which I received during my service period which includes those given for 1971 India-Pakistan war, high altitude warfare medal and for my services in the southern sector," he says.
Sidhu says he continued to serve in the army and performed staff duties during the India-Pakistan war of '71 before being released from the force in June 1978. "Even though the Service Emolument Act, reproduced in 1965, states that in the case of Emergency Commission Officers or Short Service Commission Officers if the disability is assessed to be 80 per cent or above, they should be considered at par with regular officers while deciding their service emoluments and disability pension," he says. He claims that concerned authorities have ignored his pleas and given him pension on the basis of just two-and-a-half years of his service, which he rendered till he met with the accident.
"I moved Punjab and Haryana High Court and in year 2003 the Court decided in my favour, directing the Controller of Defence Accounts to go by the entire period of my commissioned service till my release in 1978," he says. Further narrating his ordeal, he says he was told that the Ministry of Finance had sanctioned his pension. "In between, I was told that the file had gone missing in the Army headquarters. A year later, I filed a contempt of court petition after which the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts, Allahabad, in May informed me of the sanction they had received from President to implement the Court order.
"After working out my arrears, the CDA in August deposited Rs 3.62 lakh in my account in Punjab National Bank but only to withdraw the sanction four days later," he said. The Captain says he had withdrawn a sum of about Rs 28,000 when he was informed that the sanction had been withdrawn as the authorities had decided to file a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court.
"This is gross injustice and after depositing part of my arrears, they want to take even that sum away. This is no way to treat an army man," Sidhu claims. "While nobody can challenge the will of the God (referring to the accident), but what I have gone through after that has been a one harrowing tale. I wish nobody else has to go through this," he adds.
On Wednesday, Sidhu will find another retired army captain K J S Buttar by his side. "I will be there by his side for moral support," says Buttar who is also fighting his case demanding that his injury sustained during a training exercise be treated as a wartime injury.
"I was commissioned in 1969 in Infantry Regiment and sustained a bullet injury on my left elbow during a training exercise with live ammunition in field area. I was released from the Army in April 1979 with 50 per cent disability," he says. Buttar claims the 5th Pay Commission has clarified that an injury sustained while training with live ammunition should be treated as a wartime injury. He says he has now moved the Supreme Court after his pleas with the authorities failed. "I am demanding that my injury be treated as a wartime injury and that I should be given enhanced rate of pension and other service emoluments," he adds.