Ahead of Kargil Vijay Diwas, 1962 Indo-China war memorial in Gurgaon vandalised
Rezang La war memorial was constructed to honour 114 martyrs who sacrificed their lives during the historic battle of Rezang La pass in 1962 with China. A majority of war heroes of the 13 Kumaon Regiment were from south Haryana districts of Gurgaon, Rewari and Mahendragarh.Updated: Jul 26, 2017 11:24 IST
Broken benches, damaged floodlights and scratched plaques — this was the sight of Rezang La war memorial in Palam Vihar on Tuesday morning when members of the Martyr’s family welfare foundation visited the site to plan celebrations ahead of the Kargil Vijay Diwas on Wednesday.
“We were shocked to look at the site. All the eight benches, which are made of stones, had been broken and the floodlights were smashed,” TC Rao, convener of the Rezangla Shahidi Samaroh Samiti told HT.
Rao called it ‘an insult to the war veterans’. He said the 7,000 sq feet memorial was inaugurated by the then Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on December 29, 2012. It was constructed to honour 114 martyrs who sacrificed their lives during the historic battle of Rezang La pass in 1962 with China. A majority of war heroes of the 13th Kumaon Regiment were from south Haryana districts of Gurgaon, Rewari and Mahendragarh.
“This sad state of affairs show how much we respect their sacrifices,” he added.
By Tuesday evening, an FIR was registered against unknown persons under section 427 (mischief causing damage to property) and prevention of damage to Public property Act.
Palam Vihar SHO Praveen Malik said they received the complaint late in the evening. He said that no CCTV cameras were available which could capture the act and that investigation is on.
“We visited the spot and found out that the memorial had indeed been damaged,” he said.
A group of association members met at the memorial on Tuesday to decide about the Kagil Divas celebrations. “But our celebrations turned into sorrow. This was not one person’s or one association’s property, it is the country’s heritage,” said Col (retd) Mahavir Yadav, a member of the association.
Rao, who served in the Indian Army for years and was a part of Kargil war, said that it could not be work of just two-three men, but “a group who had come solely with the purpose of destroying the great memorial.”
He alleged that the vandalism was a result of a complaint he had filed at the chief minister’s window on Monday against a wine shop in the vicinity of the memorial. “It is not just about the memorial. The wine shop is next to a hospital and very near to the school as well,” Rao said.
The veteran said that the memorial becomes a picnic spot for drunk men and miscreants every night. He alleged that several men, who buy alcohol from the nearby wine shop, sit at the memorial.
“It is a grave insult to our great martyrs who laid their lives for the country. Imagine how a soldier would feel when drunken men fight and abuse each other while sitting in the memorial?” Rao asked.
First Published: Jul 25, 2017 23:46 IST