Srinagar, Jan 15 (UNI) It was a dream come true for the family members of Pakistan-trained local slain militants to board a bus for a 15-day educational excursion tour to different states, organised by the Rashtriya Rifles (RR).
''Though a dream, it was, however, surprising that the RR, which was attacked by our husbands when they were alive, had organised this tour,'' a woman who had lost her husband in an encounter with the security forces said.
She said she had never thought of visiting places outside her village adding that visiting different Indian cities will be altogether a new experience. However, she said, she will feel the absence of her husband, who joined militancy.
She alleged that those who forced her husband to join militancy, never inquired about her.
Those who boarded the bus at 31 Sub-Area, comprised 34 orphans, widows of five slain militants and three teachers.
Under the aegis of Headquarter 31 Sub Area, the 15-day tour, organised by 19 RR (SIKH LI) from January 14 to January 29, 2008, was flagged off by Brigadier Harendra Mohan.
A defence ministry spokesman said the group will visit various places in Pune and Secunderabd.
This is for the first time since the eruption of militancy in late eighties that the army had organised tour for the family members of militants, who were attacking them, the spokesman said.
However, he said, the tour was organised to expose the children to the rich cultural heritage of the country.
Apart from visiting various historical monuments in these cities, the children would be taken to Singhgarh Fort at Pune and Kelkar Museum, CME Pune and Telco Plant, Chinchwad.
An interaction with senior officials at Pune Sub Area and visit to NDA Kharakwasla, Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad, Arty Centre Hyderabad and Golconda Fort in Hyderabad and Birla Mandir and Planetorium would also be organised.
He said the tour was completely sponsored by the Army including transportation, lodging, boarding, kiting and allied expenses.
It will give an opportunity to the young blood of the valley to see new places which they had never seen, he said, adding that this would also enable the children to do well in life and become part of the upliftment of Jammu and Kashmir and the country.
UNI BAS MS HS1448