NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday attacked Congress chief Rahul Gandhi over his demand for giving ‘martyr’ status for paramilitary personnel who have died in the line of duty. She said that those who sacrifice their lives, in official terminology, are given ‘Battle Casualty’ status in Indian Armed Forces and ‘Operational Casualty’ status in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
In a Facebook post she said: “After the Pulwama attack by the terrorists, the Congress President Rahul Gandhi added new dimension to the public discourse for personnel of Para-military forces who sacrifice their lives in the line of duty by demanding that they should be given the ‘martyr’ status that is given to those belonging to the Indian Armed Forces. Mr. Gandhi doesn’t come from a school of thought wherein it is believed that those who sacrifice their lives for the cause of the nation are indeed martyrs in everyone’s eyes, mind, heart and soul. These brave soldiers of mother India who sacrifice their lives for the nation, in official terminology, are conferred ‘Battle Casualty’ status in the Indian Armed Forces and ‘Operational Casualty’ status in Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).”
Attacking the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, she said that the previous government denied benefits to the “martyrs” of paramilitary forces for years but the Narendra Modi government ultimately conferred upon these benefits.