Tribune News Service
Amritsar, September 28
The family members of Shaurya Chakra awardee Balwinder Singh Sandhu were intercepted by the Delhi Police on their way to the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi today.
They sought time to meet the President to express their anguish over the “insufficient” security provided to them and non-fulfilment of their demands. They intend to return the award and seek permission of willful death from the President.
As they tried to gain access to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, they were stopped at the Vijay Chowk and the President’s security personnel allowed them to submit their memorandum undersigned by Balwinder’s wife Jagdish Kaur Sandhu, also Shaurya Chakra awardee.
Bhikhiwind (Tarn Taran)-based Balwinder, who had taken on militants at the height of insurgency in the 1990s, was shot dead at his house, six months after his security was withdrawn, on October 16, 2020.
Jagdish condemned the Centre and the state government for not providing adequate security cover to the family. “Ours is the only family in the country whose four members were conferred with Shaurya Chakra by then President Shankar Dyal Sharma for showing unique courage and valour against militants. We were provided security by the government, which was withdrawn afterwards,” she said.
While the family demanded paramilitary cover, they had been provided with a handful of security men. Demanding job for her educated unemployed sons and suitable compensation, she said: “If our demands don’t suit the criteria, the national honour holds no significance. We urge the President to accept our medals back and allow us to kill ourselves.”
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