Govt, Kejriwal spar over NSG commando’s pension issue

Flanked by Arvind Kejriwal and his associates, a former NSG commando, who fought terrorists in the 26/11 Mumbai attack, alleged that he has been denied pension and there was bungling of monies received by the NSG for commandos injured in the operation.

Surinder Singh was declared unfit for service due to a 100 per cent disability suffered during the operation. He has allegedly been denied a pension on the ground that with a service record of a little over 14 years, he doesn't meet the 15-year service clause to be eligible for pension.

Kejriwal and his colleagues said that MPs are entitled to benefits even if elected for one term, but a "national hero" is denied his due on "flimsy" grounds. "It is shameful that while political leaders are entitled to expensive treatment in foreign countries — there is one top leader... she is forever flying to foreign countries for treatment — more than 14 years of service is not enough for a man who risked his all for the country to be entitled to medical expenses and pension," said Kumar Vishwas.

Singh claimed that he has received only Rs 4 lakh, including Rs 2.5 lakh from the Central government. Since last year, he alleged, he has not received "even a single paisa" from the government.

I&B Minister Manish Tewari said that Singh has been paid Rs 31 lakh in the form of ex gratia payment by the Central and state governments.

"You can check my bank account. I have not got any money," Singh said.

In a statement, the Defence Ministry said: "Naik Surinder Singh has been sanctioned pensionary and terminal benefits vis-a-vis retirement gratuity of Rs 2,11,458, commutation of pension Rs 11,35,809, armed forces PF Rs 6,48,195, army group insurance Rs 1,13,849, army group disability cover of Rs 10 lakh. He is entitled to an ex gratia compensation of Rs 9 lakh for 100 per cent disability which will be processed separately. He has been sanctioned a pension of Rs 25,254 per month which includes service elements and war injury elements."

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