Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced a Rs 10 lakh aid and a job to the kin of an Army jawan from the state killed in an encounter with terrorists in north Kashmir's Handwara on Sunday.
He termed the attack a ghastly act at a time when the whole word was grappling with the coronavirus pandemic. Naik Rajesh Kumar, a soldier who hailed from Mansa district of Punjab, was among five security personnel killed in the anti-terror operation which began on Saturday and continued till late last night.
A decorated colonel and a major were also killed in this operation. Extending his heartfelt condolences to the family of Naik Rajesh Kumar of 21 RR (Rashtriya Rifles, parent unit 3 GUARDS ), who belonged to Rajrana village in Sardulgarh tehsil of Mansa, the CM said his heart went out to them.
According to a a government release, the CM announced a financial assistance of Rs 10 lakh, including Rs 5 lakh as ex gratia and the remaining in lieu of a plot, to the next of kin besides a government job to one eligible member of his family. The body of the martyr will arrive in his village on Monday where he will be cremated with due honours, keeping the coronavirus safety protocols in mind, said the release.
As the news of the martyrdom of the four Indian Army personnel and a J&K policeman came, the CM joined the nation in saluting the bravery and valour of the martyrs, and prayed to God to grant strength to their families in this time of grief.
The chief minister described the attack as a ghastly and cowardly act by the terrorists, who continued to be pushed in by Pakistan from across the border despite the whole world, including the two nations, currently engaged in a bigger war against the COVID-19.
While terrorism could not be condoned at any time, resorting to such an act at a critical time like this showed a total lack of shame on the part of Islamabad, which seemed hell-bent on exploiting the opportunity for their own gains, said Singh in a statement here.
But India would not take such attacks on its security personnel, he added, warning that notwithstanding the COVID battle at hand, nobody should make the mistake of trying to take advantage of the country's perceived vulnerability at this difficult time.