A 1971 Indo-Pak War hero, who was badly injured and became disabled for the rest of his life, has finally received his long overdue, due from the Assam government.
Biren Saikia was one of the many Indian soldiers who fought in the 1971 war, which was a military confrontation between India and Pakistan that occurred during the liberation and formation of Bangladesh in East Pakistan.
Born in 1950 in Jamugurihat in Sonitpur district of Assam, Saikia joined the Indian Army in 1971 and fought in the Indo-Pak War. He was posted to Kargil on December 3 of the same year and was among the many who captured the Trisul Security Post.
During the battle, he sustained bullet injuries on his leg, and was found after a week lying senseless in the midst of the bodies of the Indian soldiers. He was rescued and taken to the hospital, but his injuries were too grievous and his legs had to be amputated, rendering him disabled for life.
Back to the present, the brave soldier, who had been facing a tough time, was on April 23 awarded a one-time financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra.
“I am happy in my life even as I am a handicapped ex-serviceman. I am proud of my sacrifice for my country,” Saikia said.
“I have been receiving pension and other benefits from the Indian army after my retirement. I am delighted at the government’s recognition of my sacrifices. The army jawans have to face many challenges to ensure security for the people and the nation. Therefore, the government always honours the retired jawans,” he added.
Over 300 war veterans, their wives and families attended the felicitation ceremony organised by the Assam government to honour the valour, dedication and sacrifice of the brave hearts who fought the enemy and ensured victory in the 1971 war.
The 1971 war provided India with a strategic advantage, Rajnath Singh said, saying that there has never been any tension on the Indo-Bangladesh border as seen on the western front because Bangladesh has always been India’s friendly country.