Chandigarh: Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said his government was formulating a policy to award a one-rank promotion for any defence or police personnel/officer from Punjab winning a gallantry award in war or in peace time.If any such officers/personnel wish to join Punjab Police, their service and bravery would be given due recognition, said the Chief Minister, while pipping the stars of Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) on the uniform of Kargil war hero Satpal Singh.
Interestingly, Satpal finds mention in Captain Amarinder Singh’s book `A Ridge Too Far - War in the Kargil Heights’.Captain Amarinder had promoted the Vir Chakdra awardee on Friday, from his earlier rank of Senior Constable, in which capacity he was managing traffic in Sangrur district till July 26. DGP Dinkar Gupta was also present at the pipping ceremony.
Captain Amarinder said he had merely set right the wrong perpetrated on Satpal by the previous SAD-BJP government, which had ignored the valour of the soldier, and failed to give him the recognition and respect he deserved. The Chief Minister said he had not been aware earlier of the situation and what he had done now was merely a case of `too little too late’ for the brave soldier. This should have been done at the time of Satpal’s recruitment in 2010, he added.
The policy to be drafted by his government will leave no scope for such injustice, Captain Amarinder said, making it clear that the policy would cover police gallantry award winners, including JCOs and NCOs, in addition to the jawans of the defence forces.
The Chief Minister said his government was committed to the welfare of soldiers/ex-soldiers, whose sacrifices to the nation and its people could not be allowed to go unrecognized. He said he had been pained on hearing that Satpal was working as a senior traffic constable and wanted to give the dignity and respect that the brave soldier deserved.
On Friday, the 20th anniversary of the Kargil War, the Chief Minister had ordered double promotion for Satpal, lamenting that the valiant soldier had not been given due recognition at the time of his recruitment into Punjab Police by the erstwhile SAD-BJP government in 2010.
Captain Amarinder came across Satpal’s plight through newspaper reports and issued the orders for his promotion as ASI, directing the DGP to relax Rule 12.3 of Punjab Police Rules. The Chief Minister also authorized the DGP to grant the required relaxation in age (DOB 07-11-1973) to Satpal, who also belonged to the Chief Minister’s 8 Sikhs battalion.
Satpal Singh, no.2116/SGR, who joined Punjab Police after his discharge from the Army, was posted in Drass sector during Operation Vijay. Part of the team that helped the Indian Army capture Tiger Hill, Satpal killed Captain Karnal Sher Khan of the Northern Light Infantry and three others. Sher Khan was later conferred the Nishan-e-Haider, Pakistan’s highest gallantry award, on the recommendation of the Indian brigade commander who vouched for his bravery on the icy heights.