Auction of Indian soldier's medal in London sparks angry reactions back home

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Dharamsala, Dec 2 (ANI): The proposed auction in London of an Indian soldier's George Cross medal for bravery has sparked angry reactions back home.

The medal, Britain's highest civilian gallantry award, was awarded posthumously to Naik Kirpa Ram of the Frontier Force Rifles, a regiment of the Royal Indian Army in 1946 for sacrificing his life to save his comrades from harm.

His widow Brahmi Devi claims that the medal was stolen from her house in Bharpal village of Himachal Pradesh in 2002 and has appealed to the state government to stop the auction.

K C Thakur, vice president, Ex-Serviceman League of Himachal Pradesh, has said that that the medal landing under the hammer in England is a result of tardy probe and lack of government interest.

"As government is now trying that this medal should not be auctioned in England but this issue the government should have been taken up at that time itself. This medal would have never reached England if the government had taken a keen interest at that time," Thakur added.

He said that Ram's widow was facing a great financial distress and had written a letter to the queen of England in September 2006, praying for the annuity George Cross medal.inally, the George Cross association in England asked the Indian Ex-Serviceman League authorities to verify the facts written by Brahmi Devi.

Thakur also added that proper investigation was not carried out when Devi reported theft in 2002 and the case was closed as "untraceable".

"In my view, proper investigation has not been carried out at that time because untraced report was submitted by the police. These facts can be found out if those persons who happened to be at that time in police station, if those people are interrogated and... how far they investigated this matter and how this untraceable report was submitted to the court, then the real culprit will be found out. What was the reason for closure of the probe?" he said.

The medal, which was being auctioned in London by the Britain's auction house Dix Noonan Webb, has been taken off the auction on December 1.

The medal could have fetched around 20,000 pounds at the auction. (ANI)

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