Haryana creates set of questionnaire to identify freedom fighters

Haryana’s Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, called it a futile exercise and said that “the rules are already set for who is a freedom fighter.

The Haryana government has once again formulated a pro forma highlighting a set of guidelines that are required to be followed by those who wish to get covered under the Freedom Fighter category for financial assistance from the state government.

As per the pro forma issued by the office of the chief secretary to all the Deputy Commissioners, a long list of questions have been mentioned that an applicant requires to fill.

According to the government’s proforma, an applicant is required to answer at least 10 questions. These include – Did the applicant ever stay in a prison? If yes, for how many years and under which Sections of the law; Did or didn’t the applicant stay underground for more than six months; Was the applicant a proclaimed offender; Was any reward announced on the arrest of the applicant; Were any orders issued regarding applicant’s surveillance but not implemented; Was the applicant kept under house-arrest for six or more months or was he expelled from his city; Was the applicant’s property seized or auctioned for participating in the freedom struggle; Did the applicant become physically disabled due to any gunshot or cane charge injury; Did the applicant have to lose his central or state government job and lost the means to earn his livelihood for participating in such national struggles; Is the applicant drawing any pension from the government of India.

After replying to all such queries, the applicant seeking the government’s financial assistance under the freedom fighters quota will also have to annexe several other requisite documents.

These include – a certificate of imprisonment of the applicant signed by the prison authorities where he remained lodged or a certificate regarding that issued by the district magistrate or state government; certificate issued by incumbent Member of Parliament or Member of Legislative Assembly certifying his imprisonment; copy of the notice issued for arrest of the applicant or copy of the reward money announced on his/ her arrest; in case there is no such record available, then certificate issued by any renowned or prominent freedom fighter who had shared the area of operation with the applicant and who himself/herself had served imprisonment for at least five years or more; proof of house-arrest or expulsion from the city; proof of seizure/ auction of the applicant’s property; copy of the dismissal from service orders and Aadhaar card.

Haryana’s Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, on Thursday, however, called it a futile exercise and said that “the rules are already set for who is a freedom fighter. “It has already been over 74 years that the nation got independence. During my time, there used to be a freedom fighters’ committee, which used to look after all freedom fighters and their rights and privileges. Nobody knows the fate of such committees now,” Hooda said.

Talking to The Indian Express, Hooda added, “The last time freedom fighters’ pension was enhanced, it was during my tenure. It has been over seven years of BJP government in Haryana and two years of BJP-JJP government, but the freedom fighters pension has not been increased. The government should focus on enhancing pension of freedom fighters rather than making the provisions so stringent for them”.

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