Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday announced the hike in the ex gratia given to the soldiers who die on the line of duty and a job to one person in the family to “recognise and compensate their sacrifices”.
Addressing an honour ceremony for the veterans of the 1971 India-Pakistan war, Sarma said, “The soldiers who lose their lives for the country will now be given Rs 50 lakh instead of 20 lakh and a government job will also be given to one person in their family.”
“We understand that while our bravehearts keep us secure, we also at the same time have a responsibility to stand by them and their families,” the Chief Minister added.
Taking to Twitter, Sarma said, “Our government has made efforts to recognise and compensate the sacrifices made by our soldiers by way of offering Rs 50 lakh as ex gratia, jobs for next of kin, 2 per cent job reservation in government jobs, and reservation of seats for their wards in medical studies.”
Defence Minister Rajanth Singh was also present on the occasion and felicitated the veterans of the 1971 Indo-Pak war at the function.
Over 300 war veterans, Veer Naris and their families attended the felicitation ceremony organised by the government of Assam to honour the valour, dedication and sacrifice of the bravehearts who fought the enemy and ensured victory in the 1971 war. Lt Col Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir (Retd), a Bangladeshi veteran of the 1971 war who was awarded a Padma Shri was among those present. Some of the veterans of the 1965 war were also in attendance.
Addressing the event, Singh expressed his happiness at meeting the war heroes and ‘Veer Naris’ and paid tributes to those who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the Nation. He described the veterans as important assets of the nation who are an inspiration to every Indian. “An in-service soldier is India’s strength and a veteran is an everlasting inspiration to stand by that strength,” he said.
Rajnath Singh further said that India would not hesitate to act against terrorists who target the country from across borders and to take bold decisions to protect the unity and integrity of the country.
The Defence Minister also released a book ‘The Bravehearts of 1971’ at the programme.