CHANDIGARH: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while paying tribute to the 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers killed in the Pulwama terror attack, addressed them as ‘Shaheed’. But the fact remains that whenever the personnel of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are killed in line of duty they are not granted the status of ‘Shaheed’ (martyr) by the central government, as compared to personnel of defence forces.
CAPF Officers Association (North India), president Amarjit Singh Sidhu said, “Since independence, 32,097 personnel of para-military forces have died but we have never been given the status of ‘Shaheed’. It is unjust to our men who do the same duty as the army. The bullet does not see the uniform. We want that our personnel should be given the status of martyr.”
On February 24, an Adhikar rally will be held by retired para-military personnel at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to press the government to give them the status of martyr.
Sidhu said, “The deceased in Pulwama incident are getting as ex-gratia Rs 35 lakh (a total of Rs 50 lakh including risk fund and central welfare fund) by the Union government. Our personnel should be given the same ex-gratia as given to the army personnel. An army personnel gets Rs 35 lakh ex-gratia, plus Rs 40 lakh as insurance till JCO. While for officer it is ex-gratia plus Rs 70 lakh insurance besides other benefits.”
CAPFOA, chairman Kulwinderjeet Singh Cheema said, “We want facilities like special pay on the pattern of military, revival of pension to the post-2004 recruits, reservation for their wards in education and professional institutions, One Rank One Pension, expectation of GST etc.’’