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Dehradun, November 20
In 2004, former Chief Minister ND Tewari had conferred the status of statehood martyrs on four persons who had participated in the Uttarakhand statehood agitation but had gone missing. Now eight years later the Bahuguna government is planning to confer the status of martyrs on more four persons.
Along with the different factions of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, the relatives and persons who had participated in the statehood agitation have been demanding that the persons who went missing during the statehood agitation be declared martyrs.
Bowing to the demand, Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna had declared last year that an exercise would be initiated to declare persons who went missing during the Uttarakhand agitation as martyrs.
According to sources, the Department of Home has started the process and two persons from Tehri, one from Pithoragarh and one from Dehradun are likely to be conferred with the appellation of martyrs.
The Department of Home is now examining the government orders issued during 2004. A senior official said that there was delay in pronouncing the remaining as missing as the details and veracity of the accounts had to be authenticated. “Based, on the local intelligence report and findings of the police, the verifications would be carried,” he said.
Beside, the seven-year waiting period of declaring persons who went missing has already elapsed which would further strengthen the latest case. The government would be in a position to declare them as presumed dead and confer them with the status of martyrs.
The status would entail Rs 10 lakh as ex-gratia amount to the next of kin, a government job for the dependants and pension (Rs 5,000 per month) to the dependants.
However, the demand for re- identification of martyrs also being raised by the state hood agitationists has not found resonance with the Congress government, especially in the light of the Nainital High Court judgment, that recently struck down reservations for those who participated in the statehood agitation.
Giving them their due
According to sources, the Department of Home has started the process and two persons from Tehri, one from Pithoragarh and one from Dehradun are likely to be conferred with the appellation of martyrs.


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