Soldiers’ families can’t expect government help: Gen V.K. Singh

Gurgaon, Aug 26 (IANS) Minister of State for External Affairs and former army chief V.K. Singh said on Wednesday that soldiers must take care of the families of martyrs and not expect any government help.

Singh was addressing a gathering in Bhondsi village near here after unveiling the statue of a soldier, Subedar Shiv Kumar Pal Singh.

He said that none of the governments in New Delhi did much for soldiers who died fighting for the country. “We don’t even have a national war memorial for soldiers.”

He pointed out that the India Gate war memorial in Delhi was built in 1921 in memory of soldiers who died in World War I.

He said the country didn’t have collective data of soldiers and paramilitary personnel who died for the nation. The government, he said, forget martyrs after offering initial help and respect.

Singh said that only help and support from the community for the martyrs’ kin can encourage people to keep fighting for the country.

His comments came three days after his daughter made a surprise appearence at the site in Delhi where soldiers are on protest demanding an early implementation of the One Rank One Pension scheme.

Five Indian soldiers were killed and another five injured in April 2013 when an UN convoy they were escorting in South Sudan came under heavy fire from rebels.

One of them was Subedar Shiv Kumar Pal Singh, who hailed from Bhondsi village on Sohna road, eight kilometers from Gurgaon.

Earlier, speaking to the media, the minister expressed the hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will surely soon fulfill his commitment to implement the One Rank One Pension.

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