In an extreme case of insensitivity, the defence accounts department has conveyed to the mother of a soldier who died when he fell into a raging river while patrolling the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, that she would not be released pensionary benefits till his dead body was found.
The pension disbursing authority’s order came despite the soldier having been declared “presumed dead” and a “battle casualty” by the Army. However, the accounts office said that since he was merely ‘missing’ and not ‘dead’ and that pension will not be granted.
On a petition by the mother belonging to Himachal Pradesh, Kamla Devi, the Chandigarh Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal comprising Justice MS Chauhan and Lt Gen Munish Sibal has issued a notice of motion.
Kamla Devi’s son, Rifleman Rinku Ram of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, while on operational patrolling duty in a treacherous terrain on LAC, slipped and fell into the raging waters of a river in November 2009. The area is such which makes retrieval of…