Statesman News Service, KENDRAPARA, Orissa, Feb. 20.
The seven-year-old legal battle over what a Kargil war martyr got for laying down his life has come to an end with a local court ordering that one/third of monetary aid be given to his impoverished parents. With this, the unsavoury tale of greed to grab the governmental largesse awarded to martyr—Sachidananda Mallick — from coastal Kendrapara’s Kandiahat village has come to and end.
The Kendrapara Civil Judge (senior division), Mr Sisir Kumar Rath, adjudicating the civil litigation pending since 1999, directed the release of one/third of Rs 22 lakh sum from the war widow’s accounts and declared the martyr’s 69-year-old mother legally entitled for the monetary award. The Jawan’s mother-Mrs Malatilata Mallick- does have the legal sanction to lay claim to the said sum under Hindu Succession Act, 1956, the court ruled.
Mrs Nivedita Mallick, the widow of the martyr and her minor son Soumya Ranjan Mallick will have two third share of the Rs 22 lakh bank deposits while the rest of it should be transferred to deceased’s mother, according to the verdict.
The poor parents of the Kargil martyr, Sachidananda Mallick from Kandiahata under Rajkanika tehsil of this coastal district, had moved the court as their daughter-in-law deserted them and left them to the brink of poverty. There was considerable hype over the success of 1999 ‘operation Vijay’ and this river-locked hamlet commemorated the war victory with the ‘son of the soil’ making a supreme sacrifice.
But a battle of a different kind was fought on the domestic front as largesse in cash poured in from various quarters. The impoverished parents had a tough time for survival after the untimely demise of their son, who was the family’s sole bread earner. The Zilla Purbatana Pratirakhya Karmachari Sangha (District ex-servicemen association) then tried to settle the dispute amicably.
But it failed. As a last resort, the martyr’s parents were forced to fight a legal battle against their daughter-in-law. Mallick was enrolled in army as a sepoy in 12 Mahar regiment in 1989. Later he was promoted to lance Naik. He died in the Kargil battle on 28 June 1999. An amount of Rs 22.70 lakh had been awarded to the war hero’s family.
The widow Nivedita was provided with a government job and full family pension. To add to this, several agencies generously extended financial help to the bereaved family of the martyr from Kendrapara. Those who monetarily aided the war widow included among others noted play back singer Anuradha Paudwal, test cricketer Debasish Mohanty, the then MPs Mr Dilip Ray and Mr Pravat Samantay, Sahara India, Orissa police football association besides scores of other private organizations.
The widow-Nivedita- left her in-law’s house and the parents of the war hero were left to fight a legal battle staking claim over the monetary awards given to their son.