Centre to reply to PIL on awards to officers who fought 26/11 terrorists
Mumbai: The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday sought time from the Bombay High Court to file its reply to a PIL demanding Ashok Chakra and gallantry awards for all the officers who fought the terrorists during the 26/11 terror attacks in the city.
A bench headed by Justice P V Hardas gave two weeks to the ministry to file an affidavit in reply to the PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar.
On last occasion, the bench had allowed the petitioner to include the Union Home Ministry as a respondent.
Maharashtra government had informed the court on December 9 that though a proposal had been sent to the Centre for presenting gallantry awards to police officials and members of bomb disposal squads for fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attacks, it had rejected the names.
The state government had recommended the name of police inspector Steven Mathews Anthony for the police medal for gallantry, besides 18 others of the Bomb Disposal Squad. However, the Centre did not consider them.
This was revealed in a letter written by G C Yadav, under secretary to Union Home Ministry to the state Home ministry on November 12, 2013.
The letter, however, did not assign reason why the names of police and bomb disposal squad officers recommended by the state for gallantry awards were not considered.
The court had earlier asked the state to inform about the steps taken to honour the officials who showed bravery during the Mumbai attacks on November 26, 2008.
The petition stated only four police officers Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar and Tukaram Ombale were given the Ashok Chakra award.
"Several other officers like Sadanand Date, Vijay Khandekar and Arun Jadhav also showed bravery during the attacks. They did not lose their lives but had fought with terrorists," the petition stated.
The PIL further claimed Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar had not even fought with terrorists. "The trio were killed in an ambush. If they have been awarded Ashok Chakra, then there are several other policemen who deserve the award more than them," the petition argued.
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