Pune: Martyr Saurabh Pharate’s parents have called off their hunger strike after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gave them an assurance to take a final decision on March 20 during the party leaders meeting. Pharate’s parents had staged a one-day hunger strike in front of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) gate on Tuesday.
On December 17, 2016, 33-year-old Saurabh Pharate, along with two other jawans, died in an assault when motorcycle-borne militants fired on an Army bus in Pampore on the outskirts of Srinagar. Saurabh is survived by his wife, twin daughters and parents. He had joined the Indian Army in 2004 and was posted in Jammu and Kashmir. He was living with his parents in Kalepadal area.
The then city mayor, Prashant Jagtap of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), had announced to build Saurabh Memorial in Hadapsar area. Local corproators of Hadapsar ward had suggested four places for the memorial but nothing was done.
Finally, Saurbah’s mother Mangal and father Nandkumar sat on a hunger strike pressing the administration to take a final call on the memorial issue. The issue is pending since more than a year due to finalisation of place.
Nandkumar said, “BJP leader Shrinath Bhimale gave letter in which they mentioned final decision of place will be taken on March 20. So, we took a decision to stop the hunger strike.”
While speaking to Sakal Times, BJP’s Shrinath Bhimale, House of Leader, said, “We called an all-party leaders meeting to solve the issue. In this meeting, Saurabh’s parent, local corproators will be called to decide the place of memorial. I have given them a letter regarding this.”
Sandeep Khandve, Superintendent Engineer of Bhavan Department, said, “Last year, there was no provision of funds for the memorial. This year, there is around Rs 1 crore of allocation in budget 2018-19.”
There are four corporators who represent ward of Hadapsar Goathan-Satavwadi. Two from BJP - Ujwala Jangale and Maruti Tupe and remaining from the NCP - former mayor Vaishali Banker and Yogesh Sasane.