Liangmei freedom fighter in court tussle over pension

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Manipur,IMPHAL, March 11: A ninety five year old freedom fighter, R Tale Naga belonging to the Liangmei tribe from Tamei Headquarters has been running from pillar to post to avail a pension scheme awarded to freedom fighters by the Union Ministry.

The senior citizen in his writ petition number 798 of 2010 had said that he should be given pension payment for being a freedom fighter under the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme with effect from the date of application i.e.2/07/1981.

The petition made to the Gauhati High Court further mentions that the petitioner belongs to the Liangmei tribe, a recognized scheduled tribe and has participated in the freedom struggle with the Indian National Army (INA) for the independence of the country and he was recommended for the pension by the Deputy Commissioner, Tamenglong to the Joint Secretary (Home). In support of his claim as a freedom fighter, one ex-INA namely, Y Sahnglung Naga had also certified that the petitioner was imprisoned for about six months in 1942 at the Manipur Central Jail.

A certificate in this regard was also issued by the concerned jail authorities validating his imprisonment time. A letter was also received from the Ministry of Home Affairs which proposed to consider his claim in 2011.

The letterĀ  from the Freedom Fighters Relief Division, (FFRD) Ministry of Home Affairs mentioned that as per the government policy, a person who has suffered upto six months imprisonment for fighting in the independence struggle is eligible for pension with the minimum period given at three months. The letter also intimated the petitioner to procure the necessary documents and apply to the concerned State authorities.

The letter was signed by SN Burman, Director of the FFRD.

The counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner had also submitted the necessary documents to the Tamenglong DC in October 2011. However, no action was taken.

The Gauhati High Court in the hearing conducted on 6th March ruled that the concerned respondents should take up the required action for grant of the pension scheme within a period of one month as the petitioner is on the verge of death.

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