In an apparent attempt to woo the armed forces’ veterans and their families, the Congress president Rahul Gandhi would visit the families of three martyrs in Dehradun on March 16. The Congress president after his rally at Parade Ground would go to the houses of the martyrs -Major Chitreh Bisht, Mohan Lal Raturi and Major Vibhuti Bhushan Dhaundiyal. Mohan Lal Raturi was among 40 Central Para Military Force (CRPF) personnel who died when a suicide attack by a Jaish- e – Mohammad terrorist blew up their vehicle in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on February 14. Major Chitresh Bisht attained martyrdom while defusing a land mine on LoC after the Pulwama attack while Major Dhaundiyal was martyred while participating in an operation to neutralise the terrorists involved in Pulwama attack.
The decision of Gandhi to visit houses of the martyrs, meet their families and offer homage shows that no political party can ignore the armed forces’ veterans in the Himalayan state.
Uttarakhand has rich tradition of sending its youth to serve in the armed forces of the country. A rough estimate put the number of the armed forces veterans and Veer Naris (widows of armed forces personnel) at 1.70 lakhs. Similarly, the state is home to about thirty thousand retired paramilitary forces personnel.
Likewise, an estimated 1.50 lakh personnel from the state are serving in different wings of the armed forces of the country. The inclination to serve in armed forces of the country is so high in this predominately mountainous state that almost every family has someone who is in the armed forces.
Pauri district has an estimated 30104 ex -servicemen voters while Dehradun district has 28689 armed forces veterans. Pithoragrah with 24690, Chamoli with 14745, Nainital with 14075 and Bageshwar with 11440 ex- servicemen voters are also the districts with substantial presence of families of armed forces veterans. Understanding the political clout of the ex- servicemen, all the political parties in the past had given tickets to retried armed forces personnel to strike a warm chord with them.
Thursday, 14 March 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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