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Sunday, Jan 19, 2020

Why vandalism doesn’t change how Gurgaon treats war heroes

Many war heroes of 1962, 1971 and 1999 are from Haryana.

gurgaon Updated: Jul 26, 2017 22:21 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times
The Rezang La war memorial in Gurgaon’s Palam Vihar was vandalised on Tuesday night.
The Rezang La war memorial in Gurgaon’s Palam Vihar was vandalised on Tuesday night.(Parveen Kumar/HT FILE PHOTO)

Tuesday’s vandalism at Rezang La War Memorial upset army veterans who called it brazen disrespect to fallen soldiers.

However, the incident, shocking as it is, does not reflect the way Gurgaon feels about the men and women who defend our borders and lay down their lives in the line of duty. Similar to the rest of Haryana, Gurgaon, too, has a tradition of honouring the country’s martyrs.

Haryana is one of the highest enlisting states in the Indian Armed Forces. It has continued to be a tradition over the years and among the heroes of the Indo-China War in 1962, India-Pakistan war in 1971 and the Kargil conflict in 1999, many were from Haryana.

Lt Atul Kataria is one such brave son of the soil who gave his life battling militants in Jammu and Kashmir in 1998. A year later, a junction on the Old-Delhi Gurgaon road was named after him.

Similar to the India Gate, a war memorial was set up at John Hall in the Civil Lines area and it has the names of 120 martyrs from 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999 wars inscribed on it.

On Wednesday evening, retired defence personnel lit the flame at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at Cyber Hub and inaugurated a wall of fame having a collage of pictures of 527 martyrs of the Kargil conflict along with their names. A musical tribute to the fallen heroes followed.

Read I War veterans to protest vandalism of Gurgaon war memorial on remembrance day

On remembrance days, officials of the district administration, retired army officers and residents gather at John Hall and Rezang-La War Memorial Chowk at Palam Vihar to commemorate India’s victory over Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

“Gurgaon and Haryana have a rich tradition of honouring those who have sacrificed their lives for the country. Tuesday’s incident at Rezang La War Memorial was shameful, but it doesn’t in any way take away from the respect that the city accords to our martyrs,” Major (retd) Rao said.