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Pulwama attack: Social media flooded with tributes to 'martyrs', but term not used in official parlance

  • While several paid tributes to the 'matryrs' of the Pulwama attack, the term is not officially used.

  • In 2015, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju stated this before the Lok Sabha

  • The word was originally was used to refer to a Christian who was killed for his belief in Jesus.

In the wake of the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir, social media has been flooded with messages paying tribute to the CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the blast. Interestingly, while several of them referred to those who died as "martyrs", the term is not officially used by the Ministry of Defence.

 Pulwama attack: Social media flooded with tributes to martyrs, but term not used in official parlance

Representational image. Reuters.

In 2015, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju stated this before the Lok Sabha in response to a question. He had stated, "The Ministry of Defence has informed that the word ‘martyr’ is not used in reference to any of the casualties in Indian Armed Forces. Similarly, no such term is used in reference to the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles (AR) personnel killed in action or on any operation. However, their families/next of kin are given full family pension under the Liberalized Pensionary Award (LPA) rules and lump sum ex-gratia compensation of Rupees fifteen lakh as per rules in addition to other benefits admissible."

In response to an RTI in 2017, the defence ministry further stated that the official word used is "battle casualty." Similarly, the home ministry stated that the official word used is "operations casualty."

While 21 October is officially commemorated as Police Commemoration Day, media reports have often referred to the occasion as Police Martyrs' Day.

The word "martyr" has Greek roots, and originally was used to refer to a Christian who was killed for his belief in Jesus.

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Updated Date: Feb 15, 2019 18:45:31 IST