Martyr father’s cry goes unheard : The Tribune India

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Martyr father’s cry goes unheard

Has been running from pillar to post to get son’s statue installed

Martyr father’s cry goes unheard

Rulia Ram Walia with his wife in Palampur. Photo by writer



Ravinder Sood

Palampur, January 9

Rulia Ram Walia, father of Maj Sudheer Walia, who had attained martyrdom while fighting militants in Jammu and Kashmir, is moving from pillar to post for the past 20 years for the installation of a statue of his son in Palampur or his native village but the bureaucracy of the state is unmoved.

Rulia Ram has met the Chief Minister, ministers, MLAs, Deputy Commissioners and other senior dignitaries of the government, but all in vain.

He also announced returning his son’s gallantry awards, including Ashok Chakra, but even after a year, no land has been earmarked for the statue.

The Tribune team called on Rulia Ram on Sunday at his native Banuri village, 6 km from here. In a choked voice, he said the state and Centre had no respect for martyrs. “Whenever any soldier attains martyrdom, the state government makes tall claims of providing all kinds of help. However, no one comes forward to fulfil those promises later. There are many other families which have been fighting for the completion of projects announced in the name of their kin who sacrificed their lives for the nation,” said a teary-eyed Rulia Ram.

He said both state and Central governments had failed to acknowledge the supreme sacrifice made by his son and had not installed his statue in the town or at their native village. Besides Ashok Chakra, Major Walia was decorated with Sena Medals for gallantry on two occasions for combating militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.

He also served as an ADC to former Army chief VK Malik for two years. In his book ‘Kargil : From Surprise To Victory’, General Malik has devoted a full chapter on Major Walia.


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