SGPC to give Rs 50,000 annually to ‘dharmi faujis’ who don’t get pension
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has decided to give financial aid of Rs 50,000 annually to ‘dharmi faujis’, the Sikh soldiers who had quit their barracks in revolt after Operation Bluestar in 1984, who don’t get pension from the government.
This was announced by SGPC secretary Manjit Singh Batth on Tuesday after Dharam Parchar wing members Manjit Singh Bappiana and Rampal Singh Behniwal distributed Rs 50,000 cheques to 15 ‘dharmi faujis’ at Teja Singh Samundari Hall, headquarters of the apex gurdwara body.
“Around 1,600 dharmi faujis have already been given financial aid by the gurdwara body. Now, we are paying special attention to around 300 dharmi faujis who faced general court martial and sentenced, or some of them were killed in 1984”, said Batth.
He said, “In the first phase, the SGPC is giving financial aid of Rs 50,000 to 123 out of these 300 dharmi faujis. Of the 123, 49 were killed during encounters with the army when they revolted, while 17 were killed during the anti-Sikh riots in November 1984 while they were coming to their homes in a train. Fifty seven of them did not join any government of semi-government job. Some of them were given jobs by SGPC while others became self-employed.”
“The remaining 177 dharmi faujis had joined semi-government jobs and they are getting pension from both the Centre and state governments. A sub-committee has been set to consider their cases as well,” he added.
“More than 3,500 Sikh soldiers had left their barracks in 1984,” said Baldev Singh Gurdaspur, president of Sikh Dharmi Fauji Parivar Welfare Association (regd).
In July last , the then SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar had announced that it would set up a memorial in the memory of ‘dharmi faujis’ on the premises of the Golden Temple. There is already a gurdwara in the memory of those killed during the Operation Bluestar. The SGPC had also decided to set up a gallery on the premises of the Golden Temple for the militants and devotees killed during the army operation in 1984.
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