Forget farmers, KCR yet to fulfil promise given to Galwan martyrs

KCR had announced ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh each for families of army men who were killed in Galwan valley

Hyderabad: A few days ago, former IPS officer and Telangana state coordinator of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) R S Praveen Kumar posted on his social media account saying the Telangana government had not fulfilled its promise of paying ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh to each of the families of 19 brave soldiers who lost their lives in clashes with Chinese forces at Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh on June 15, 2020.

“If this is the plight of our soldiers, how many years it would take for the state government to fulfill its promise of paying compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the families of farmers who fought in their year-long against agriculture laws?” Praveen Kumar tweeted.

The tweet has gone viral and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi government and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao have been subject to heavy trolling by the followers of the BSP leader and other netizens.

Four days after the incident that shook the nation, KCR had announced a cash compensation of Rs 5 crore to the family of Col Bikkumalla Santosh Babu, who was killed in the clashes with the Chinese forces in Galwan valley, besides a residential plot and a Group-1 rank officer job to his wife Santoshi.

At the same time, the chief minister also announced that for the other 19 army men who lost their lives in the same incident, his government would give Rs 10 lakh each through the Union Defence Ministry.

“The entire country should stand by the Military personnel guarding our country’s borders. We have to support those Martyred in their line of duty and help personnel’s family members. With such acts, one should instill self-confidence among the army personnel and security to the family members. We have to send a message that the entire country is with them. The Central government extends help to those martyred. But the states should also to extend their help. It is only then that the army personnel and their family members would have confidence that the country is standing by them. Exhibit the symbol of unity. Though there are problems with the Corona Virus, one should cut expenditure somewhere and work for welfare of the defence forces,” KCR said this while interacting in Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi’s videoconference then.

It has been nearly one-and-a-half years since the Telangana chief minister made the announcement. Though he had fulfilled his promise given to the family of Col Santosh Babu, the much-publicised promise of paying compensation to the families of other 19 soldiers did not materialise yet.

According to a report published in a prominent Telugu daily, the army officials of the Hyderabad regiment made several representations to the chief minister’s office and submitted a list of the bank details of the 19 jawans. “Though the authorities are promising to hand over the cheques at the earliest, the promise has not yet been fulfilled,” the report said.

The report quoted official sources saying the cheques for Rs 10 lakh each to be given to the families of the deceased jawans were readied last year itself, but they were kept in abeyance as there was no clarity from the chief minister as to how they should be handed over to the families.

“In the meantime, the mandatory three-month validity period for encashment of the cheques has lapsed and the file has been kept in abeyance,” the sources said.

As BSP leader R S Praveen Kumar said, if this was the fate of the compensation to be paid for the soldiers, it would naturally raise doubts over the sincerity of KCR’s announcement on November 21 on the ex gratia of Rs 3 lakh announced for the families of the farmers who lost their lives against the farm laws.

It is not immediately known whether the Telangana government obtained any list of the eligible families from the Samykth Kisan Morcha or any other source. Though KCR had been to Delhi recently to fight for the paddy procurement and stayed there for three days, he did not even bother to call on the farmers agitating on Delhi borders.

But that is the style of the Telangana government!

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