Punjab announces special assistance for war widows

Amarkot (Punjab), Sep 9 (IANS) The Punjab government on Wednesday announced grant of special financial assistance of Rs.2,000 per month to war widows.

This will be in addition to their existing pension and other benefits besides extending them facility of free bus travel across the state, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal announced.

Addressing the gathering during a function to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1965 India-Pakistan war here on Wednesday, Badal said the Indian Army, under leadership of General Harbhaksh Singh, displayed unmatched valour to combat Pakistani forces.

It was here, at the battle of Asal Uttar on September 9, 1965, that a full-fledged assault by Pakistani Patton tanks, which were considered the most modern in their category at that time, was repulsed by determined Indian forces, inflicting heavy losses to the Pakistanis.

The ‘Battle of Asal Uttar’ resulted in several tanks being destroyed and the Pakistani troops had to flee. The area has since been known as the ‘Graveyard of Pakistan’s ultramodern Patton tanks’.

Company Quarter Master Havaldar Abdul Hameed showed utmost courage to take the Pakistani tanks head-on and destroyed four tanks before making the supreme sacrifice.

He was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry award in war time, posthumously.

Badal said the Punjab government was committed for ensuring the welfare of the families of bravehearts who sacrificed their lives for the motherland.

“Punjabis inherited a glorious legacy of sacrifice and valour from the great Sikh Gurus, who taught them to fight against tyranny, oppression and injustice,” Badal said.

The event was organised by the Punjab government and the army’s Western Command.

The chief minister said the state government recently decided to enhance the one-time grant for the recipient of Param Vir Chakra from Rs.30 lakh to Rs.2 crore, Mahavir Chakra from Rs.20 lakh to Rs.1 crore and Vir Chakra from Rs.15 lakh to Rs.50 lakh.

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