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Dilip Kumar

Cuttack: Even as the country observed the second anniversary of Pulwama terror attack remembering the valour of 40 jawans who laid down their lives for the nation on this day two years ago, the native village of Manoj Behera who was one among the martyrs is still crying for administrative attention.

The government had made numerous promises for the family and village of the saheed Manoj Behera on the day when the mortal remains of the martyr had arrived at his birth place Ratanpur under Niali lock in Cuttack district. But, the administration seems to have sat on the promises made two years ago. Family members of the jawan alleged that the government has done nothing except construction of a statue.

"The government had promised pucca road, street light, piped water connection for our house and village. But, nothing has been done so far. Only construction of a bridge has been undertaken. Though a saheed Pillar has been built in the memory of Manoj, no step has been taken for its maintenance", said Jitendra Behera, father of Saheed Manoj.

Ratanpur Sarpanch Abhimanyu Sahoo said that steps are being taken for the maintenance of his statue and fulfilment of other promises.

"Delay in grant of funds had hindered the construction of roof of the statue. The work for the same will commence within next 15 days. We had promised to install lights at the statue site, which has already been fulfilled," Ratanpur Sarpanch Abhimanyu Sahoo said.

The schoolmates of the martyr jawan who still remember Manoj's valiant nature also expressed concern over the unfulfilled promises of the government. They said the school where saheed Manoj had pursued his education is yet to get Adarsha Vidyalaya status as per the government announcement.

"The Government has done something while some other promises are yet to be fulfilled. We urge the government to announce the panchayat as a Model one at the earliest," Prakash Chandra Sahoo, childhood friend of Manoj said.

It is worth mentioning that 40 CRPF jawans including Manoj Behera were killed after a suicide bomber rammed an IED-laden vehicle into the CRPF convoy which was travelling from Jammu to Srinagar on February 14, 2019.

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