Date: 15 Jun 2008


Army's war heroes to return medals

Saturday, June 14, 2008 (New Delhi)
Gallantry award winners of the Armed forces nationwide will return their medals to President Pratibha Patil soon to protest the measly raise in the monthly monetary allowance the government announced last month.

''The executive committee of the War Decorated India (WDI), a nationwide organisation representing the winners of gallantry medals such as Param Vir Chakra (PVC), Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) and Vir Chakra (VrC), has resolved to return the medals in protest against the piddly raise,'' WDI general secretary Capt (retired) Reet M P Singh said on Saturday.

Coming soon after Armed forces veterans' protest march to seek a better deal for both serving and retired officers and ranks from the Sixth Pay Commission, their protest has all the potential to rattle the UPA government.

Soon after a stormy WDI executive committee meeting which ended in Chandigarh, Singh, who is a VrC winner from the 1965 Indo-Pak war, said the committee members were loud in their protest against the paltry hike announced by the government.

On May 14, the government had announced a 100 per cent hike to the monthly allowance that it paid to the gallantry award winners.

''Doubling of the paltry sum already being paid is like doubling the number zero. It amounts to nothing,'' Singh said, voicing the views of 13 of the 18 WDI executive committee members.