Ending the 24-year-long ordeal of a Nepal-based widow of a missing Gorkha soldier, who went missing in Himachal Pradesh in 1994, the Chandigarh Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal has directed the authorities concerned to release family pension due to her.
The Bench comprising Justice MS Chauhan (retd) and Lt Gen Munish Sibal (retd) has also imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on the respondents, Ministry of Defence, Records Officer of 14 Gorkha Training Centre and Principal Controller Defence Accounts (Pensions).
Rifleman Bir Bahadur Gurung went missing from Dharampur Railway Station in Himachal Pradesh in 1994 when he was detailed on an escort duty to accompany a mentally sick patient to Command Hospital. Despite attempts to locate him, his whereabouts remained unknown. Police later certified that he had remained missing and had not even reached his home in Nepal.
His widow Phul Maya Gurung kept writing to the Army for grant of family pension by treating him as ‘dead’ but the Gorkha Rifles Record Office rejected her claim stating they had declared him a…