Symbol to honour martyrs shifted from India Gate to War Memorial

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated National War Memorial (NWM) three years ago, on February 25, 2019, and since then, millions of people have visited the memorial and paid homage to the country’s fallen heroes whose names are inscribed on its walls.
A view of the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial at India Gate, in New Delhi. (Jasjeet Plaha/HT Archive)
A view of the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial at India Gate, in New Delhi. (Jasjeet Plaha/HT Archive)
Published on May 28, 2022 04:33 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

An iconic symbol to honour the fallen soldiers of 1971 war – an inverted rifle with a helmet on top – was on Friday shifted from India Gate to the National War Memorial (NWM), four months after the eternal flame, Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate was extinguished and merged with the flame at the adjacent NWM, officials familiar with the development said.

“With this ceremony, the integration of the Memorial of Fallen Soldiers of 1971 war with National War Memorial has been completed,” the defence ministry said in a statement. The iconic symbol has been installed at the Param Yodha Sthal at the memorial alongside the busts of Param Vir Chakra awardees.

The ceremony was led by the chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the chairman, chiefs of staff committee (CISC) Air Marshal BR Krishna and senior officers from the three services.

The flame at the Amar Jawan Jyoti was lit at India Gate’s arch on January 26, 1972, by the Indira Gandhi government to honour the soldiers who fell in the 1971 war with Pakistan, which ended with the liberation of Bangladesh. It was moved to NWM in January 2022.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated NWM three years ago, on February 25, 2019, and since then, millions of people have visited the memorial and paid homage to the country’s fallen heroes whose names are inscribed on its walls.

The names of around 27,000 brave warriors are inscribed on the memorial, including the ones who fell in the 1971 war.

The decision to shift the eternal flame had triggered a political slugfest with the Congress accusing the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of erasing history and the latter, in its counter offensive, blaming the Opposition party for spreading misinformation and questioning why it did not build a national war memorial despite being in power for decades.

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