NAHAN: The family of late Sergeant Dev Raj Singh Thakur, who chased and caught Mahatma Gandhiâ€™s assassin Nathuram Godse on this very day at Birla House in Delhi over six decades ago, lives in penury in this Himachal Pradesh town.
The family has been demanding a government job for a kin of gallantry award winner Thakur for over a decade as there is no breadwinner in the family.
â€˜The state government has not recognised his bravery act. Even the promise to provide job to a family member of Thakur as a special case has been turned down by the government,â€™ said Thakur, daughter-in-law of the gallantry winner.
She said she met Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in 2010 and pleaded the case of one of her two sons for a state government job. Dhumal assured her that her eldest son would be considered for employment as a special case.
â€˜Five months back I got a communication from the state secretariat saying there was no scope for the appointment of my son,â€™ said 54-year-old Sumitra, a widow.
Of Thakurâ€™s three sons, the eldest one passed away in 2005 while the other two donâ€™t live in Himachal.
Sumitra said Thakur, who was awarded the Ashok Chakra (Class II), had died in May 1987 without any recognition.
â€˜Even in 2008, the government had promised to provide a job to a family member and sought the entire record of Thakur. But it didnâ€™t take any call,â€™ she added.
Thakur, who lost his mental balance during his service in the Indian Air Force, was sent on retirement. He was subsequently admitted to a mental hospital in Amritsar in Punjab where he remained for 14 years.
Till his death, Thakur was getting a monthly pension from the central government.
The Sainik Welfare Board office in Nahan said Thakur was awarded the gallantry award in 1952 for nabbing Godse by the countryâ€™s first president. He was on duty at the time of tragedy.
Maj. Yograj Chauhan, the boardâ€™s deputy director, said there was no provision for job for the award winnerâ€™s grandchildren. â€˜Only the award winnerâ€™s widow or dependent children can claim for the government job,â€™ he added.
The father of the nation was shot from close range by Godse, a Hindu nationalist, while he was proceeding for the prayer meeting at Birla House Jan 30, 1948.