“The bravehearts who sacrifice their life for India are once tweeted, forever forgotten!“
Thus begins the Change.org petition started by Retd Brigadier CK Sood, father of late Major Anuj Sood, who was among the five security personnel who were killed in an encounter in Handwara, J&K on 3 May.
Addressed to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the petition urges the government and authorities to recognise the ultimate sacrifice of the soldiers as they laid down their lives for the country.
“A tweet is not enough. Say their names. Acknowledge their sacrifice. Stand in silence and support with their families. Our heroes deserve more! Let's make a start – Please sign my petition so that the families of the brave soldiers receive a letter from the PMO/President's Office acknowledging their brave sons and husbands' sacrifice,” it reads.
The petition has acquired nearly 20,000 signatures so far, after it was started three days ago.
The 20 Indian soldiers who lost their lives in clashes with Chinese soldiers at the LAC hailed from various parts of the country.
As per the details shared by the Army, five soldiers were from Bihar, four from Punjab, two each from Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal and one each from Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
‘Hardly Any Flypast for Martyrs’
Noting that in times of COVID-19, health workers and doctors were honoured with a “majestic fly-past”, the petition stated that “there's hardly any flypast for martyrs, no flags at half-mast, no national mourning, no telecast to the nation saluting our brave hearts. ”
Brig Sood believes, "we need to institute a Standard National Protocol in honour of our battle casualties, and a good starting point could be a letter to the family of martyrs part of the tragedy on the India-China border".
“In death, they received complete ignominy from their supreme leader, while the irony is that they laid down their lives for a cause that these very politicians have propagated and complicated year on year. Our brave hearts are killed in action year on year, and their families are left to pick up the pieces. They are honoured once and then forgotten forever. I want to change that with my petition and I need your support.”Brig Sood
“These families have nothing to hold on to except for the bravery that their sons displayed in the battlefield. And an acknowledgement from the highest office in the country holds tremendous value. This letter/memento should be treated as the highest recognition and the ONLY PROOF that their son/husband gave his life in the nation's service. And they should not be asked for 100s of documents to prove otherwise. Or made to follow up for their dues. Or made to request for acknowledgement, (sic)” the petition read.
Following Major Anuj Sood’s death in the line of duty in May, friends and batchmates from school, remembered the passionate teenager who always dreamed of becoming a soldier