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Freedom fighter, wife end fast after pension assurance

Wednesday November 09, 2011 05:41:27 PM, IANS

Ranchi: A 99-year-old freedom fighter and his 86-year-old wife ended their indefinite hunger strike here after the government assured them of old age pension and initiating steps for him to receive pension for taking part in the independence struggle.

Cheddi Ram and his 86-year-old wife Chamni Devi from Godda district, 500 km from Ranchi, went on an indefinite hunger strike near Raj Bhavan Saturday. He claimed that he actively participated in the Quit India Movement but wasn't accorded a pension despite efforts since 1981.

He was forcefully lifted from the strike place Monday and shifted to Rajendra Institute of Medical Science's (RIMS) ICU in Ranchi.

Ranchi district administration Tuesday took steps to end his fast. Sub Divisional Officer Shekhar Jamuar met the couple in RIMS and persuaded them to end the hunger strike. The elderly couple ended their fast by taking a sip of juice from him.

Jamuar facilitated the couple to speak to the deputy commissioner of Godda district who assured them that they would start getting old age pension.

Arun Pandey of the Jharkhand unit of the National Senior Citizens Forum told IANS: "The couple ended their fast after assurances given by the district administration. The administration has assured to start old age pension and initiate steps to get him freedom fighter pension."

The couple had said Saturday that they were trying to get pension since 1981.

"On Oct 13, we informed the governor, chief minister, chief secretary and others that we would sit on indefinite hunger strike if our demand for pension was not cleared by Oct 30," Ram said.

Any person who had fought for the freedom of the country is entitled to a monthly pension of Rs.3,000 after authorities have verified the genuineness of the claim.





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