The 1.13-million strong Indian army has reportedly sought a uniform welfare package from the government. According to the report, Army has asked the government that why should the soldiers’ lives killed in fighting with terrorists be any cheaper than the soldiers died in the 1999 Kargil conflict.
The kin of 527 soldiers killed and 1,400 injured soldiers were given higher compensation after the Kargil battle. They were given much higher amount than kin of those who were killed during the fighting with terrorists.
The government of India has reportedly drawn a line of distinction between casualties in war and casualties during counter-insurgency operations because of the different levels of risk and intensity of action in both the situations.
After the Kargil war, the then NDA government had hiked the compensation packages for soldiers killed or wounded during Operation Vijay. According to the report in TOI, Rs 19.30 lakh, including a Rs 10 lakh ex gratia amount from Centre and other special benefits were given to the family of a soldier killed during Kargil.
However, the family of the soldiers killed in other operations such as counter-insurgency fights in J&K and the north-east, got around Rs 8 lakh from the government. The amount does not include liberalized family pension scheme, death gratuity, leave encashment and other benefits from central government.
The injured soldiers during the Kargil conflict got Rs 3 lakh to Rs 6 lakh, as ex gratia payment that was depended on the level of disability. However, soldiers got the ex gratia figure that stands at Rs 1 lakh in case of other operations.
Now, the Army has sought to implement the proposal for a uniform ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh in the case of death of soldiers from both war or counter-insurgency operations.