Honoured for valour during 26/11 but denied promotion

7 other firemen still await announced President's medal.

Four years after they were honoured for exemplary services while rescuing trapped people during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, two fire brigade personnel have been denied promotion yet again, for not holding a Masters Certification (MCERT) in computers. Harish Girkar of Shivaji Park fire station and Sandesh Rane from the Worli fire station did not find their names on the list finalised by the BMC promotions committee earlier this month.

The two were part of rescue operations that saved 400 people during 26/11. After the matter of denying promotion to the two was raised in the BMC Standing Committee, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has instituted an inquiry.

Shiv Sena corporator Kishori Pednekar raised the issue in the standing committee on Wednesday. She said, "Following the terrorist attacks, the BMC honoured these firemen for their services. But they have so not received even one promotion. Meanwhile, junior officers are rising above them only because they have passed MCERT computer exam. How can this be?"

She added that Girkar was denied promotion despite having passed his C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) exam.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said the civic administration will probe matter.

"The promotions committee makes these decisions. So we will have to conduct an inquiry and see what the reasons are. We will also have a third party opinion on these cases," said Mhaiskar.

Meanwhile, seven other firemen from the Mumbai Fire Brigade who played a crucial role in fire rescue operations during the attacks have not yet received the President's Fire Safety medals announced in 2009.

The names of former chief fire officers AV Sawant and PD Karguppikar, additional fire officer (mobility) SG Amin, station officers KF D'souza and SW Rane, fireman Yuvraj Pawar and driver-operator Moses Pugaonkar were announced by the Governor for the award.

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