Jammu, November 18: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday asked the Centre to set up a commission to look into the condition of war widows and table a report in Parliament.
He also asked Army Chief General Bipin Rawat to look into the condition of these widows before talking about war.
Abdullah on Friday visited the residence of soldier Sohanlal Bhagat at Sarah Pargalta in Nagrota area in Jammu and extended condolences to his family. Bhagat, of Assam Rifles, was martyred in an IED blast in Chandel district of Manipur on November 13.
"I want to ask the Centre to constitute a commission to look into the condition of the widows of those soldiers who sacrifice their lives for the country," the former chief minister. He demanded that a report of the commission be tabled in Parliament for necessary action.
"I know what is happening (with the families of the slain soldiers). When they get compensation, fight erupts within the house that this money does not go outside and attempts are being made to force the widow of the soldier to marry someone in the family or oppressed," Abdullah said.
He said it was the responsibility of the Army chief to know the welfare of the families of the fallen soldiers, being their "father".
"Rawat, I want to say to you because you are their father. Try to know what is going on with them, wherever they live in India, ask them and prepare a report and table it in Parliament. And then talk about the war, it is very easy to talk about a war, but try to know the conditions of the families of those who lost their lives in the war to ensure freedom in the country," he said.
Criticising the state government for failing to turn up at the funeral of Bhagat, he alleged that nobody from the state government visited his family.
"The whole Himachal Pradesh government turned up to pay tributes to another soldier who lost his life along with Bhagat in Manipur. But here, unfortunately, the ruling parties did not even attend the wreath-laying ceremony," he said.
Abdullah said his party would set up a commission on its own once it comes to power in the state to improve the living condition of the war widows.
"The NC will set up a commission to know the condition of war widows immediately after coming to power in the state. You have to strengthen my hands and we need to work together that we can give an honourable life to the families of the slain soldiers. They have left minor girls and we have to take care of their education to make their future safe," he said.