Decorated soldiers ‘deprived of benefits’
Indian Ex-Services League demands probe.
Ludhiana_ January 16.The Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab,
and Chandigarh, has sought a high-level inquiry in the alleged
scandal of not granting land and other benefits to the decorated
soldiers and their widows.
A large number of decorated soldiers had died and their kin
had not been given any benefits as announced by the state
government from time to time.
Lt Col Chanan Singh Dhillon (retd), patron-in-chief of the
league, said that the state government had sufficient land
to allot to the decorated soldiers but officials of the state
Revenue Department and other babus had played a big fraud
on these soldiers and their families.
Colonel Dhillon said according to a report of the Revenue
Department published on April 29, 2002, the state had land
to the order of 1,72,428 acres available in 17 districts of the
state. About 36,127 acres were available, which were not
under any encroachment.
He further said the state Defence Advisory Committee, which
met on August 11, 2004, had found that the Revenue
Department had been acting in a pick and choose manner for
allotment of land to the decorated soldiers and their widows.
Colonel Dhillon said Capt Amarinder Singh had ordered an
inquiry into the scandal and directed the Defence Department
to dig out the facts and put up report regarding the officers
involved in the same. He charged that neither the Revenue
Department nor the Defence Department, including the
Director of the Sainik Welfare Board of the state government,
acted in this regard and adopted a dilly-dallying attitude and
the scandal remained buried in the babudom.
According to Colonel Dhillon, when Parkash Singh Badal took
over as the Chief Minister, the matter was again taken up with
him and it was complained that the Revenue Department was
not cooperating and had played havoc with the decorated soldiers.
During investigations, it was found that the Revenue Department
had re-employed some of the officials, who had retired at higher
salaries. Badal refused to grant sanction to such officers.
Colonel Dhillon had demanded a high-level inquiry into the scam.
The state government were keen to help the decorated soldiers
and their widows but department officials had not allowed them
to help their widows and the living decorated officers, he alleged.
It is learnt that there were as many as 256 decorated officers in
the state in which 125 were alive.
Veteran Prabhjot Singh PLS Retd.
Indian Ex-Services League, Punjab & Chandigarh.