Dehradun Municipality Seals 1971 War Hero Lt Gen Hanut Singh's Memorial, Ex-Servicemen Displeased
The Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) has allegedly sealed Lt. Gen. Hanut Singh ’s memorial on Rajpur road which incurred displeasure among the senior servicemen in the city. The matter was discovered on Saturday, following which several ex-servicemen expressed their resentment over the decision, Times of India (TOI) reported.
The DMC has sealed the premises of Shivabalayogi Maharaj ashram, where the memorial is situated.
According to Times Of India, DMC has shut the surrounding area of the memorial citing that the land is under ownership rights.
Opposing the move, Brig (retd) KG Behl, a senior ex-serviceman of Uttarakhand League, told the Times Of India, “Instead of popularizing the spot for those who want to pay obeisance to our war heroes, the civic body is sealing such structures. A memorial should never be considered an encroachment.”
In this regard, State BJP president Ajay Bhatt said, “Since the land belongs to the civic body, they are the final authority. However, I have urged the civic officials not to seal a war hero’s memorial.”
According to the Daily Pioneer, Rajasthan Independent MLA Randhir Singh Bhinder has also conveyed his discontent over the verdict. After visiting Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, he has requested the CM to revoke the decision for sealing the memorial premises.
Who Was Lt. Gen. Hanut Singh?
Lt Gen Hanut Singh was born in Jasol in Pachpadra, Barmer District, in a family of noted Rajput warriors. After graduating from the Indian Military Academy in December 1952, he was selected to join the Armoured Corps and was commissioned into The Poona Horse Regiment. He gallantly led the regiment in the Battle of Basantar in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, for which he was awarded the Mahavir Chakra.
Lt. Gen. Hanut Singh was popularly known as ‘saint general’ due to his high morality and spiritual inclinations. Even the opponent Pakistan Army was moved by his respect and recognition of the enemy’s courage. In a never-before show of mutual solidarity, the Pakistan Army had conferred the title “Faqr-e-Hind ( Pride of India)” on his regiment.
Upon retirement, Singh chose to live in Dehradun, dedicating his life to meditation. He passed away on April 11, 2015, after which the war memorial was built in Dehradun as a tribute to his unforgettable contribution.
The Land Ownership Issue
As Daily Pioneer reports, MLA Randhir Singh narrated events from the life of Lt. Gen Hanut Singh, which help to understand the origin of the land ownership issues. A devoted disciple of Saint Shri Balyogi, Lt. Gen Hanut Singh was allotted a plot of land adjacent to the ashrama, where he has resided since his retirement in 1991. However, after Shri Balyogi’s demise, the ashram office bearers harassed Lt. Gen Hanut Singh to vacate the house. It was at the same time that Singh discovered that his residential plot belonged to the Nagar Nigam. So, he requested DMC to allocate him the land under the current market price. His request to the State Government still awaits a conclusion. “We are shocked to find that the place which he made his home after retiring from the army is being subjected to a shoddy treatment”, Randhir Singh commented.