New Delhi: On Tuesday, the Parliament paid tributes to soldiers killed in terror attacks or while securing the nation's boundaries, as Budget Session commenced with the joint address to both Houses by President Pranab Mukherjee.
Paying homage to the seven security personnel killed in Pathankot terror attack, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari said, "Such dastardly attacks and acts of senseless violence deserve to be condemned in the strongest terms and must be confronted with determination and firmness".
Rajya Sabha MP of BJP from Uttarakhand Tarun Vijay had, over a week ago, called for every parliament session to begin with homage to soldiers who gave up their lives for the country. Parliament sessions currently begin with offering homage to prominent figures who have passed away between sessions and to victims of calamities around the world. Vijay's argument was that martyred soldiers too must be remembered for their brave efforts. He had raised the matter during the winter session of parliament and claimed that he had received support from several politicians.
On Tuesday, when Ansari paid homage to prominent persons, including former MPs of the Upper House,
Vijay rose to speak and demanded that tributes be paid to martyred soldiers.
In his obituary references, Ansari also talked about four jawans, who lost their lives in an avalanche in Ladakh, and
eight jawans of Madras Regiment, who were killed in an avalanche in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Rajya Sabha Chairman also paid homage to Lance Naik Hanumanthappa, who was rescued alive after being buried under
35 feet of snow for six days but later succumbed at an Army Hospital.
"The country will always remember the sacrifices of these soldiers in securing the international border. The loss of precious lives and injury to people in all these tragic incidents is indeed painful and unfortunate," Ansari said. The House observed silence as a mark of respect to the slain soldiers.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who termed the attack on the Pathankot air base as a "cowardly act", led the Lower House in paying tributes to the security personnel killed in the incident.
The House also condoled the demise of personnel in the avalanche which struck an army post in Siachen recently. Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha Chairman also expressed sorrow over passing away of former MPs of the House including Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, former Lok Sabha Speaker and ex-Governor Balram Jakhar, former General Secretary of CPI A B Bardhan, former journalist turned Parliamentarian Kapil Verma, M Sankaralingam and Mrinalini Sarabhai, a classical dancer.