Amar Jawan Jyoti not being extinguished: Govt
New Delhi, Jan 21: The flame of the Amar Jawan Jyoti at Delhi's India Gate is not being extinguished and is only being merged with the flame at the National War Memorial, government said amid wide spread criticism from the opposition.
"The flame of Amar Jawan Jyoti is not being extinguished. It is being merged with flame at National War Memorial. It was an odd thing to see that the flame at Amar Jawan Jyoti payed homage to martyrs of 1971 and other wars but none of their names are present there," the government sources told ANI.
"The names of all Indian martyrs from all the wars, including 1971 & wars before & after it are housed at the National War Memorial. Hence it is a true 'Shraddhanjali' to have the flame paying tribute to martyrs there," it said.
"It is ironic that people who did not make a National War Memorial for 7 decades are now making a hue and cry when a permanent and fitting tribute is being made to our martyrs," the sources said.
Launching a scathing attack on the Centre over its decision to merge the Amar Jawan Jyoti with the flame at National War Memorial, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted: "The sanctity acquired after fifty years of the Amar Jawan Jyoti is being lightly snuffed out. So everything must be reinvented post-2014?".
"It is a matter of great sadness that the immortal flame that used to burn for our brave soldiers will be extinguished today. Some people cannot understand patriotism and sacrifice - never mind. We will once again light the Amar Jawan Jyoti for our soldiers," Rahul Gandhi tweeted in Hindi.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi also slammed the Central government over its move to merge Amar Jawan Jyoti with flame at the National War Memorial.
"Eternal Flame will be Extinguished Flame for sometime. How many more ideas & monuments we hold dear need to be reworked to make way for a 'New India'? (sic)," she tweeted.
At 3.30 pm today. the eternal flame at the historic Amar Jawan Jyoti, INDIA Gate would be extinguished after 50 years and it would be merged with the eternal flame at the adjacent National War Memorial.
Amar Jawan Jyoti was built in 1972 underneath the India Gate arch to commemorate soldiers martyred in the Indo-Pak War of 1971.
The Chief of Defence Staff , along with the Army Chief, Navy Chief, and Air Force Chief respect pay respect on occasions of national importance like Independence Day, Republic Day at the Amar Jawan Jyoti.