Saurabh Farate parents protest over 'empty statue promises'

Mar 07, 2018, 12:12 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

Elderly parents of Saurabh Farate, who was killed in Jammu in 2016, sit on dharna outside civic body's office, and ask why the promised statue has not been erected yet

Mangala Farate outside PMC office
Mangala Farate outside PMC office

Parents of martyr Saurabh Farate, 33, have had enough of the government's empty words and apathy. Having waited for over a year for his statue to be erected in Pune, as was promised to them, the senior citizens yesterday sat on a dharna outside the office of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

Saurabh, along with Shashikant Pandey, 24, and Ratheesh C, 28, was killed on December 17, 2016, after militants attacked their convoy at Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

Saurabh, a resident of Hadapsar in Pune, lived with his parents Nandakumar and Mangala, and his wife and twin girls. In October 2016, he had visited home to celebrate his daughters' first birthday. Saurabh joined the Army in 2004 and served for 14 years. His elder brother is currently serving in the Army.

Empty assurances
Mangala said, "I lost my son at a very young age; during his funeral, a lot of people, especially politicians, came and gave assurances regarding his statue. But later, when we approached them, all of them, politicians as well as government officials, refused to help us. Hence, we decided to sit on a dharna. I have come to know that an amount has been sanctioned, but that was over a year ago. Giving us the excuse of space crunch, no one has done anything so far.

"With this dharna, I am trying to reach the masses and wake up the authorities from their slumber. Until I get land sanctioned for the statue, I won't get up from here."

While PMC officials said Rs 25 lakh was sanctioned on Friday, PMC Commissioner Kunal Kumar said, "We've sanctioned the amount and will begin the process soon. There's a lot that needs to be considered for a memorial."

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