'Martyr' status for troopers being mulled, government tells HC

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday was informed by the central government that it has been considering to give "martyr" status to paramilitary personnel who die in the line of duty. A division bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Deepa Sharma hearing the submission of government's counsel sought an affidavit in this regard by November 23.

The court was hearing a PIL seeking to directions to issue the honorific of "martyr" to paramilitary or police personnel, as 31,895 paramilitary personnel have laid down their lives in the last 53 years in the line of duty but the honour of being called a "martyr" still eludes the personnel of paramilitary and police forces.

The plea was filed by advocate Abhishek Choudhary, who apprised the court that "the personnel of the three armed forces are called "martyrs" when they are killed on duty". "But the men/women of police and paramilitary forces who are killed in anti-Maoist operations, rendering internal security duties and guarding our borders in extreme conditions are not given the stature of a 'martyr'," it said.

"In many places, like along the Pakistan border, paramilitary personnel work along with army men and in Maoist-affected states, they work with air force officials. But in case of death in action, the Central Armed Police Personnel (CAPF) are not accorded 'martyr' status," the plea said. Choudhary said honouring them will not only act as a morale booster but also enhance their self-respect.

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