New Delhi: Four Indian National Army (INA) veterans, who would be taking part in the Republic Day parade this year on Thursday thanked the central government for recognising their contribution to the freedom struggle of the country.
While talking to ANI, these soldiers, who still consider Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose as the tallest leader, said that it seems like they were fulfilling Netaji’s call of ‘Chalo Dilli’.
All of them are in their late 90s and have hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for recognising their contribution to the country.
Lalti Ram, 96, said this is for the second time he will be honoured by the government. The first time he was honoured on October 21 last year.
Recalling his association with Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the soldier said, “I was posted in the artillery of the INA and had worked very closely with Netaji”.
Till today, Lalti Ram refuses to accept the plane crash theory that claimed Netaji Bose’s life.
He said, “Hours after the news of Netaji’s plane crash was aired, Bose was sitting with his brigade.”
Lalit Ram feels that Bose is still alive.
Another INA veteran Hira Singh, who is 97-year-old, has also thanked the Prime Minister, for this honour of participating in the Republic Day parade.
The team also includes Baghmal, who is 100 years old and 99-year-old Parmanand.
Hailing Prime Minister Modi, Defence Expert, Major General GD Bakshi told ANI that though late but at least these great soldiers were being recognised for their contribution to the freedom struggle.
“It is sad that they are being given the honour at this age when one of them is 100 years old. Only about seven to eight soldiers of the great Army are left and we could get some who are staying nearby,” Major General Bakshi said.