The Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) on Thursday issued a notice to the central government over a petition for higher pension by a soldier who lost all his toes to frostbite at the Siachen glacier.
The petitioner, Rattan Chand of Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir, moved the tribunal saying he had received the injuries during the army’s Operation Meghdoot and that he was eligible for the “war injury element” of the pension.
Chand, who had joined the army in 1985, had been sent to the world’s highest battlefield in 1987. He told the tribunal that after serving three months in temperature ranging between -18 to -50 degrees Celsius, he suffered from frostbite and all his toes had to be amputated.
Chand was invalided out of the army in 2004 with 60 % disability.
Bhim Sen Sehgal, chairman of the All India Ex-servicemen Welfare Association, a group through which Chand filed the petition, said: “Chand served in Operation Meghdoot at Siachen for about three months. The army commander declared his injury attributable to military service in operational area and was classified as a battle casualty. But the principal controller of defence accounts ruled that Chand’s injury did not fall under the ambit of war injury, which is contrary to law.”