Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur participated in a programme organised to mark Kargil Vijay Diwas in Mandi district through videoconferencing from Shimla yesterday.
On this occasion, he inaugurated a martyrs’ memorial built at a cost of Rs 15 lakh at the Indira Market in Mandi. The memorial has been dedicated to the martyrs of 1962, 1965 and 1971, besides those of the Kargil War of 1999. The names of all martyrs have been inscribed on the monument.
The Chief Minister said the work on the second phase of the memorial was being started.
“Himachal is known for the valour, gallantry and sacrifices of its soldiers. In Operation Vijay, soldiers of the state showed their valour. As many as 52 soldiers were martyred,” he said.
“To date, 1,096 brave soldiers of the state have received gallantry awards. As many as 1,246 soldiers sacrificed their lives while protecting their motherland. Major Somnath Sharma, who received the first highest gallantry award — Param Vir Chakra — was from Himachal Pradesh. In the Kargil War, Captain Vikram Battara was awarded Param Vir Chakra posthumously and Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, too, was conferred with the Param Vir Chakra for distinguished acts of valour during the war,” said the Chief Minister.
He said besides the financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of 52 martyrs, government job to one dependent of 44 martyrs had been provided. Financial assistance was provided to soldiers who were disabled in the war and employment was given to nine such soldiers.
“The state government has provided salary benefits to the ex-servicemen on the basis of service period in the Army. The government will also make necessary efforts to fill the backlog of ex-servicemen,” he said.
IPH Minister Mahender Singh Thakur and Mandi MP Ramswaroop Sharma were present. Himachal Pradesh Ex-Servicemen Corporation chairman Brigadier Khushal Thakur thanked the CM for setting up the memorial in Mandi.
Source : The Tribune