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Punjab govt announces job, Rs 12 lakh for martyr Lance Naik Gurmail’s family

He was killed during ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Saturday.

punjab Updated: Dec 24, 2017 22:35 IST
Surjit Singh
Surjit Singh
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Lance Naik Gurmail Singh,ceasefire violation,Border
Army personnel carrying the coffin of martyr Lance Naik Gurmail Singh in his village, Alkare, on Sunday.(Sameer Sehgal/HT)

The Punjab government has announced Rs 12 lakh compensation and a job to any one family member of martyr Lance Naik Gurmail Singh, 34, killed during ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Saturday, on compassionate grounds.

Congress MLA from Amritsar (West) Raj Kumar Verka made this announcement on the behalf of Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh at Gurmail’s native village, Alkare, 23 km from district headquarters, on Sunday.

The only breadwinner of his family, Gurmail is survived by wife Kuljit Kaur, daughter Ripandeep Kaur, 8, father Tarsem Singh, mother Gurmeet Kaur and sister Daljit Kaur. Of the money announced, Rs 5 lakh is for wife Kuljit Kaur with Rs 2 lakh for other family members. The government will give Rs 5 lakh for the purchase of a residential plot.

The body of the martyr reached the village about 5.30pm and the army took the body to the cremation ground within 10 minutes. The last rites were performed with full state honours with his 8-year-old daughter giving him the last salute.

Besides army officers, deputy commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, SSP (Amritsar-rural) Parampal Singh, and Congress MLAs Harpartap Singh Ajnala and Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria also attended the last rites. Gurmail’s wife Kuljit Kaur said, “I am proud that my husband sacrificed his life for the country.”

His younger brother Malwinder Singh said, “Gurmail used to joke with mother that a gate would be built to mark his martyrdom. We never expected to receive his coffin.”

“Gurmail is the first martyr from our village, famous as the ‘village of soldiers’ with around 40 men serving in the army,” said Daljit Singh, a retired soldier from the village. Gurmail’s two cousins are also soldiers.

After the cremation, family members and villagers slammed the union government for its failure to equip soldiers with modern weaponry. Verka said, “The Union government must give a befitting reply to Pakistan.”

Describing the state government compensation as inadequate, Akali leader and MLA from Majitha (the martyr’s village is situated here) Bikram Singh Majithia said, “My condolences to the family. The government should have announced a compensation of at least Rs 1 crore.”

First Published: Dec 24, 2017 21:54 IST