GUWAHATI, April 20 - Sangita Das, wife of a �missing� jawan, got her dues after a struggle of 15 years.
A resident of Rangmahal village, Gachbari, she got married to Pradip Das in 2000. Pradip Das was serving with 5th Rashtriya Rifles Battalion (JAT) in Jammu and Kashmir on secondment from the Army Service Corps (ASC).
In 2001, he came home on 45 days� leave and spent time with his wife and child. On May 30, he was supposed to join duty; however, he reportedly went missing.
Sangita Das was intimated by the unit informing that he didn�t join duty after his leave. On three occasions, the unit sent representatives to inquire about his whereabouts, but all in vain.
After the death of her father, the financial condition of Sangita�s family weakened compelling her to work as a housemaid in Guwahati. Subsequently, she continued working in a noodle-making plant at Nine Mile for Rs 3,000 per month and took shelter in a cramped one-room shanty for Rs 500 per month on rent.
Wandering from one place to another with documents received from 5th Rashtriya Rifles Battalion (JAT) declaring her husband as a �deserter�, she received no assistance from anybody. Finally taking the help of her relatives, she approached Armed Forces Tribunal, Guwahati Bench, in 2004 seeking justice and help to get �family pension�.
In 2013, the Armed Forces Tribunal ruled in her favour. However, no benefit was passed to her. Feeling totally aggrieved and frustrated, she sought to highlight her struggle and case to the Veterans Cell, HQ 51 Sub-Area during the Ex-Serviceman Rally at Narangi on December 9, 2015.
Veterans Cell on the explicit orders of Major General AK Jha, GOC 51 Sub-Area, swung into action and the 5th Rashtriya Rifles Battalion was intimated who after 15 years republished the orders amending Pradip�s status from �deserter� to �missing�.
The Cell then coordinated with ASC Records (South) to process her documents which were facilitated by the Cell through the Zonal Sainik Welfare Office, Kamrup and Amingaon. After coordination efforts by the Cell, ASC Records and Pay Account Office (Other Ranks) ASC (MT) pushed the case and her documents were sent to PCDA (Pension), Allahabad, who finally issued her the necessary pension payment order (PPO) on March 21 this year.
Sangita Das has also been given a job by the HQ 51 Sub-Area and her daughter Dinisha has been admitted to the Army Public School Narangi Cantonment, with all the expenditure of school fees, uniform and books being borne by HQ 51 Sub-Area, stated a press release.