Saturday, April 17, 2010

Slain CRPF man had to take pay cut

Courtesy: Mail Today
Aman Sharma
New Delhi, April 17, 2010

In a clear case of insensitivity, a CRPF constable was denied half his month's salary for being ill days before he died fighting the Maoists in Dantewada.

On April 3, CRPF constable Udaiveer Singh called home from Chhattisgarh to inform his family that he would not be able to send money after the bosses deducted 15 days' salary since he had stayed home beyond the leave period.

Three days later Udaiveer was among the 75 CRPF personnel of the 62nd battalion butchered by the Maoists in one of the most brutal attacks.

Union home minister P. Chidambaram may have announced over Rs 38 lakh and a job on compassionate grounds for the family of each CRPF martyr, but this incident shows the ground reality is entirely different.

Udaiveer had visited home in Nadhala village near Meerut in January. He was supposed to return to Chhattisgarh on January 26 but had to be admitted to the hospital with high blood pressure.

"He had called three days before his death and said that his half-month's salary had been deducted. He had come on leave at the beginning of this year and was supposed to return to Chhattisgarh on January 26. But he fell seriously ill and started bleeding from the mouth and nose. We rushed him to Sarvodaya hospital in Meerut where he was admitted for 10 days with high blood pressure. The doctors had advised him complete bed rest," the late constable's brother, Amrinder Singh, said.

As a constable, Udaiveer earned a little over Rs 10,000 a month to support his wife, Aushmit Kaur, and two children, Gurdeep (7) and Kartar (1).

"While he was undergoing treatment, we sent a fax to his unit in Chhattisgarh with a request to extend his leave. But his seniors said he would have to personally come to Chhattisgarh and only then would his leave be extended," Amrinder said. Given his condition, he opted to rest for some days after he was discharged from the hospital.

"But fearing that he could lose his job, he returned to Chhattisgarh in mid-February. In his last call home, he said that despite submitting all the relevant documents pertaining to his illness, the bosses did not accept his plea and deducted half-amonth's salary for the 15 days he had been on extended leave. We wonder what his mental make-up would have been while he undertook the anti-Naxal operation," Amrinder said.

A source in the Union home ministry said that Chidambaram has taken note of this matter after Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) MP from Bijnour, Sanjay Singh Chauhan, raised the issue during Thursday's discussion in the Lok Sabha on the Dantewada attack.

Chauhan said he was shocked to hear that a half-fit Udaiveer was forced to return to his unit in Dantewada since he feared losing his job.

"In such a condition he undertook the Dantewada operation and died in action. But the worst part is that the CRPF deducted his half-a-month's salary before sending him for the operation. It is not that the constable was trying to extend his leave on false pretext. It was a genuine medical case. I am extremely saddened by the tragedy the family has undergone and would urge home minister P. Chidambaram to ensure that such insensitivity is not repeated," Chauhan said.

A CRPF spokesperson in Delhi said he could offer no immediate comment on Udaiveer's case as the requisite information would have to be sought from the 62nd battalion with which Udaiveer was posted.

"That would take some days," the spokesperson said.

1 comment:

ramcharitra said...

we must never be sensitive to brave soldier but can we be above law ? we should avoid judgemental until knowing the whole gamut of issues.