Army reacts to charges made by former NSG commando and Kejriwal

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 13:38 hrs

The Army on Thursday rejected claims made by a former NSG commando, who had fought terrorists in the 26/11 attack and was invalidated from service after he became medically unfit, about due financial incentives and pension to him not being paid.

Flanked by activist-politician Arvind Kejriwal and his associates, 34-year-old former NSG commando Nk Surender Singh told a press conference that he has so far received just Rs 4 lakh, including Rs 2.5 lakh from the Government of India, as financial benefits.

The Army reacting to Surender's claims said that the NSG commando was given his due pensionary and terminal benefits.

NSG personnel from the Army serve for three years and those from the CAPF, for 5 years. Surender came to the NSG on 9 May, 2007 the Army said. He suffered acoustic trauma during the Mumbai operations and became a permanent Low Medical Category on account of sensory neural deafness of the leftear. In the normal course, he would have been reverted to his parent unit 2 Grenadiers on completion of his three year tenure on 8 May 2010. However, on compassionate grounds, he was retained in the NSG till 15 October 2011, the Army added.

Surender has been sanctioned pensionary and terminal benefits viz-a-viz retirement gratuity of over Rs 2 lakhs, commutation of pension of over Rs 11 lakhs, Armed Forces PF of over Rs 6 lakh, Army Group Insurance of over Rs 1 lakh and Army Group Disability Cover Rs.10 lakhs. He is also entitled to an ex-gratia compensation of Rs.9 lakhs for 100% disability which will be processed separately. He has been sanctioned a pension of Rs.25,000 per month which includes service elements and war injury elements.

His Ex Servicemen Health Scheme Card has also been dispatched for handing over to the individual.

The Army reiterated that the Government has taken all care to pay all entitled terminal benefits due to Surender. In case, he still has any grievance, the Ministry of Defence is prepared to look into it.

The Army also rubbished Surender's claims on the rest of the NSG commandos who were either injured or killed in the operation,

The Army said that one officer and one non commissioned officer were martyred in the 26/11 operation and 17 officers and other ranks were injured. Both martyrs Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and Havildar Gajender Singh were awarded the Ashok Chakra (Posthumous). The NOK of Major Unnikrishnan got a financial compensation of approximately Rs.1.3 Crores and a flat. Similarly, the wife of Havildar Gajender Singh received approximately Rs.1.27 crore, a petrol pump and a flat. His mother too received Rs.15 Lakhs approximately. Both these personnel also received enhanced pension benefits as applicable in the Army.

As regards to the injured, one Kirti Chakra, two Shourya Chakra, six Sena Medals, one mention in despatch and three chief of the Army Staff Commendation Cards were awarded, the Army said. Four persons with grievous injuries received financial compensation of Rs.4.8 lakh each and others with lesser injuries received Rs.2.3 lakh each.

Earlier, the government also rejected Surender's claims.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said that the commando has been paid Rs 31 lakh in the form of ex-gratia payment by the Governments of India and Maharashtra.

Interestingly, the Government's rejection first came on PIB's twitter handle even as the press conference was on.

Narrating his story, Surender said he was severely injured in the operation to flush out terrorists from the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai and was invalidated from service in October, 2011.

Since last year, he alleged, he has not received "even a single paise" from the government.

Singh claimed that NSG commandos, who were injured in the 26/11 operation, received a "number of gifts in the form of cheques" but the force had not dispersed them to the people concerned.

"I saw a file in which the photocopy of a cheque of Rs 2 lakh each from Rohan Motors Pvt Ltd and another firm were received in my name. I never got the money. Not just me but none of my colleagues got the money which came in their name. I want to know who en-cashed them and where are they now?" Surender asked.

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