Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal yesterday took up cudgels on behalf of NSG commandos, saying some of those who fought Pakistani terrorists in Mumbai were now without work and denied compensation.
“Ajmal Qasab was hanged on Wednesday but those NSG commandos who fought these terrorists are still fighting for their rights,” Kejriwal said at a press conference.
He claimed that some of the commandos were sacked without pension and some were denied medical benefits. A few former NSG commandos were at the press conference. “Some were thrown out of their job with no pension, and they foot their own medical bills. No honors for them,” Kejriwal said.
He said the government was misleading the nation about the compensation offered to NSG guards injured in action. “A total of Rs 31 lakh was given to the 11 injured. Of this, Surinder Singh got just Rs 2.5 lakh,” Kejriwal said.
Surinder Singh, a former commando who was at the press conference, said, “The donation came from Govind Ballabh Trust. Rs 2.5 lakh was to be disbursed to each commando. They (army) only forwarded the names of four commandos for the compensation.
“When I asked why I was not included, they told me that only those who sustained severe injuries were eligible. I was not only severely injured, I also lost my job. They later gave me the real reason. The donation money had been transferred to the union home ministry,” Surinder Singh said.
He said the authorities could not produce any document that prescribed the criteria for fund disbursement. “I got Rs 1 lakh from the Pradhan Mantri Rahat Kosh,” he said. The revelation came a day after Qasab, the only Pakistani terrorist caught during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, was hanged in Pune.