Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday that the central government is making all out efforts to ensure that families of troops killed in the line of duty receive a compensation of not less than Rs one crore. Singh declared this after inaugurating a new government website, along with actor Akshay Kumar, that will allow commonpeople to make monetary donations to families of paramilitary troops killed in action, with an upper limit of Rs 15 lakh to a single family.
"It has been our constant effort to ensure that a family of a martyr who is killed in action does not get a compensation amount less than a crore...I have said that I am even ready to spread my hands and seek funds from my countrymen in this regard," Singh said during the ceremony which also marked the annual 'Valour Day' event of the CRPF.
He added some state governments also provide such funds to families of slain troops but still some "gap" remains and their effort is to fill up these. The Minister added the country will remain indebted to its soldiers forever and that their welfare is his "top priority" by saying: "hum aapka ehsaan kabhi nahi utaar payenge" as he lauded the men and women of paramilitary forces deployed for operations in some of the most difficult and hard areas in the country.
As per present compensation norms, the family of a slain soldier of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) like CRPF, BSF,ITBP, CISF, SSB, NSG and Assam Rifles gets about Rs 50-60 lakh and the "gap" the Minister talked about ranges between Rs40-50 lakh before they get the Rs one crore compensation.
The website, www.bharatkeveer.gov.in, is a step in this direction and has been launched after Akshay Kumar met Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi about 2.5 months back with aproposal in this regard. The 'khiladi' Kumar said his idea of getting a website made was to engage the entire 125 crore population of the country with the personnel in uniform so that anyone couldcontribute and feel proud by helping the families of such troops.
Calling himself the "son of an army man" and not an actorin the event, Kumar said he hit upon the idea when he saw a documentary where it was described that terror elements motivate people to join them and undertake violence in lieu of promise of "good money" to their families. Rajnath complimented Kumar for winning the national award for best actor recently and called him 'action Kumar' for doing heroic deeds in not only his films but also in sociallife too.
Talking high about the sense of duty of the CAPF personnel, Singh said these troops always help and save thelives of even those who pelt stones on them in the Kashmirvalley. "I am sure the situation in Kashmir will improve," hesaid. The Minister added there has been a dip of about 45-50 per cent in violent incidents in the Left Wing Extremism-hit areas and about 70-75 per cent in the insurgency affected areas of the North East.
The new website inaugurated on Sunday provides details ofCAPFs personnel killed in the last over an year with theirname, age, incident where they made the supreme sacrifice, thename of dependent family members. Any amount of payment up to Rs 15 lakh can be made either through a debit/credit card ornet banking facility by the donor.
The portal is powered by country's largest lending bankSBI and will be maintained by the National Informatics Centre(NIC). The contributor will also be acknowledged about his orher donation by an auto-generated website certificate issuedunder the seal of the Home Ministry. Kumar had recently donated Rs 9 lakh each to the familiesof 12 CRPF personnel who were killed in a Naxal ambush inChhattisgarh's Sukma on March 11.
Few days later, badminton player and Olympic bronzemedallist Saina Nehwal had made a similar contribution anddonated Rs 50,000 each to these families of the CRPF men. The CAPFs are not only deployed for guarding Indian borders but they also render a variety of internal security tasks including tackling the Naxal menace in Left Wing Extremism-hit states. In case someone wants to make a donation of more than Rs15 lakh, they can also deposit in the corpus created in this regard by logging on to the website, an official said.
During the event, the Home Minister also decoratedgallantry medal winners of the Central Reserve Police Force(CRPF) and gave away special mementos to two veteran CAPFsoldiers, 93-year-old Head Constable Baljit Singh who took onthe Chinese forces in 1959 at Hot Springs in Ladakh and BSFCommandant B S Tyagi for his brave exploits in 1971 Indo-Pakwar in Assam's Killa Para.
He also praised CRPF Commandant Chetan Cheeta whorecently recuperated from a near death condition and was inhospital for close to two months after he was hit by 9 bulletsduring an operation in the Kashmir valley. Singh said a bullet can hit a soldier physically, but nobullet can defeat the courage and motivation of a soldier.
The about 3-lakh personnel strong CRPF remembers itsmartyrs by observing 'Valour Day' on April 9 every year. The history of the Day dates back to the the interveningnight of 8-9 April (1965), when 3,500 men of 51st InfantryBrigade of Pakistan stealthily launched simultaneous assaulton the Sardar and Tak Posts in the Rann of Kutch in Gujaratunder an operation code named "Desert Hawk".
The fight lasted 12 hours during which the enemy madethree attempts to overrun the post but was repulsed with heavycasualties by some dare-devil action by the CRPF men, taskedto secure the post. The retaliation by the CRPF men saw the numerically andarmament superior Pakistan retreating the areas and leavingbehind 34 bodies of their soldiers including two officers. Four Pakistani soldiers were taken as hostages while six CRPF men made the supreme sacrifice and the post was saved.