Chandigarh [India], November 18 (ANI): Making an exception, Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday approved jobs for the married siblings of three unmarried soldiers from the state who died in Galwan Valley stand-off in June, by amending the rules under the state government's existing policy of "Appointment of Honour and Gratitude in the State services to the
dependent members of the families of War Heroes".
The decision has been taken by Captain Amarinder Singh government in recognition of "the supreme sacrifice made by Sepoy Gurtej Singh, Sepoy Gurbinder Singh and L/Nk Saleem Khan", according to an official press release.
"Punjab had sadly lost 5 of its brave hearts in Galwan Standoff. Sepoy Gurtej Singh (23), Gurbinder Singh (22) and L/Nk Saleem Khan (23) were unmarried when they made their supreme sacrifice. Happy to share that Cabinet today has approved to give jobs to their married siblings," Captain Amarinder Singh tweeted.
As per the existing rules, only dependent family members or next of kin of the battle casualties are eligible for jobs, but in the case of these three men, since no dependent family member existed, the government decided to make an exception and give jobs to their married brothers.
Disclosing this, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office said that Gurpreet Singh (married brother of Sepoy Gurtej Singh); Gurpreet Singh (married brother of Sepoy Gurbinder Singh); and Niyamat Ali (married brother of L/Nk Saleem Khan), had applied for appointments in the state services despite not falling under the definition of the "dependent members of the families of War Heroes".
A government spokesperson pointed out that under the policy of "Appointments of Honour and Gratitude..." in Class I and II services, dated September 24, 1999, and in the Class III and IV services, dated August 19, 1999, the widow or the dependent member of the family of a "War Hero" is offered jobs.
A dependent member of a "War Hero" under the policies is defined as a "widow or wife or a dependent son or dependent unmarried daughter or adopted dependent son or adopted unmarried daughter".
However, in case the "War Hero" was unmarried and had other dependents, then one of the dependent unmarried brothers/sisters was eligible for consideration for an appointment under this policy, revealed the spokesperson.
Notably, five soldiers belonging to Punjab laid down their lives in Ladakh sector in June 2020 during unprovoked aggression by the People's Liberation Army of China.
After such deaths are declared battle casualties by the Army headquarters, the next of kin of the soldiers are granted financial assistance and one dependent family member is also given jobs, as per the policy of Appointments of Honour and Gratitude.
As none of the family members of the three martyrs is covered under the definition of the "dependent members of the War Heroes" in the policy, the state government made a departure from the norm as a mark of honour and gratitude to the soldiers who are survived by old parents and other family members. (ANI)