Sitrep | Haryana brackets paramilitary with army | punjab$regional-takes | Hindustan Times
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Sitrep | Haryana brackets paramilitary with army

A recent move by the Haryana Government to bracket paramilitary forces personnel with soldiers has gone virtually unnoticed. Apparently the charter of the state’s Sainik Welfare Department has been expanded to include the well being of central armed police forces like the BSF, CRPF and ITBP.

punjab Updated: Apr 09, 2017 14:08 IST
Mandeep Singh Bajwa
Haryana
Punjab governor V P Singh Badnore, Vir Sanghvi, Shekhar Gupta and Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh during launch of ‘The 36th Sikhs in the Tirah Campaign 1897­-98 — Saragarhi and the defence of the Samana forts’(HT Photo)

A recent move by the Haryana Government to bracket paramilitary forces personnel with soldiers has gone virtually unnoticed. Apparently the charter of the state’s Sainik Welfare Department has been expanded to include the well being of central armed police forces like the BSF, CRPF and ITBP. Now, the reasoning for ex-servicemen’s welfare departments in states is because soldiers have abbreviated service tenures with vast majority, typically retiring between 35 and 40 years of age. Retiring at this young age with their children still studying, they need help in resettlement and getting access to the schemes put into motion for their welfare, necessitating extra efforts by the government.

Personnel of paramilitary forces on the other hand serve until the age of 55 to 60, though they do lead tough service lives with frequent moves, operational deployments and postings on the border. Minimum work is required to be done by government agencies to resettle them. So why have they been clubbed with soldiers who spend the better part of their youth on extremely hard assignments? I wouldn’t exactly call this a sinister move but definitely the armed forces need to protest to the Haryana government.

AMARINDER SINGH’S NEW BOOK RELEASED

Captain Amarinder Singh’s latest book ‘The Samana Forts: The 36th Sikhs in the Tirah Campaign 1897-98’ was released at a glittering function last evening, attended by hundreds of veterans, serving soldiers and the region’s elite. The book is an account of the service of the battalion we now know as 4 Sikh in the Tirah Campaign on the North-West Frontier of India. It particularly focuses on one of the greatest last stands in military history, that of 22 men of the battalion at the signal link post of Saragarhi on 12th September 1897. With his usual meticulous research, Captain has demolished some of the myths that have grown up over the years about the battle, particularly the number of enemy combatants and the casualties.

COURT MARTIAL ON AT N AREA

A summary general court-martial is on at N Area, near the Chandigarh airbase, to try an officer and eight Other Ranks (ORs) of 168 Field Regiment on charges stemming from the alleged murder of a jawan in Ladakh in 2010. A member of a patrolling party died under mysterious circumstances with three bullet wounds on his body. A medical examination ruled out suicide.

While summary in nature, this court martial has a complete jury. All prosecution witnesses have deposed in the trial. The defence having entered a plea of ‘No Case’ the GCM has now adjourned. Evidence in the case is reported to be circumstantial in nature. A botched investigation has ensured that the all-important forensic evidence is missing. 168 Field Regiment distinguished itself at the Battle of Longewala in 1971. A sad affair.

NO DEFENCE MINISTER AGAIN!

For the second time in three years, we have no full-time defence minister. Speaks volumes for the lack of expertise on national security issues among our political class. This seems to cut across all parties with even the Opposition not cornering the ruling party on this vital issue. May God save this country! It’s politicians certainly won’t.

(Please write in with your narratives of war and military life to msbajwa@gmail.com or call/WhatsApp on 093161-35343)