Pune: Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) lethargic approach in building a memorial in remembrance of martyr Saurabh Pharate in Hadapsar area has forced his family to go on a hunger strike.
On Tuesday, Pharate's parents began a two-day hunger strike in front of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) headquarters. For the past one year, the family has been pursuing this issue, but to no avail.
Former mayor Prashant Jagtap had made the announcement to build the memorial immediately after Pharate's last rites were conducted in December 2016. Pharate's family is of the opinion that the memorial is being delayed as PMC has not yet finalised the location for the same.
Disappointed by this, Saurabh Pharate’s mother Mangal said, “After more than one year, the corporation is unable to build a memorial for my son. Everyone is indulging in politics on the issue. We feel that the memorial should be made at Bankar School, Hadapsar, which will inspire school children to make sacrifices for the soil. My son is the first martyr from Hadapsar."
Saurabh's father Nandkumar warned, “If no final decision is taken in the next two days, I will immolate myself.”
Sandeep Khandve, Superintendent Engineer of Bhavan Department, said, “Last year, no provision was made for the memorial. Now, Rs 1 crore allocation has been made in the 2018-19 budget.”
Local corporators had suggested four places where the memorial could be built - under the Gadital flyover, PMPML bus station chowk, PMC's Late Ramchandra Bankar E-learning school, Ganganagar (Satavwadi) and Kale-padal at Tukainagar area. Two BJP and two Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporators represent Hadapsar Goathan-Satavwadi ward.
These corporators include Ujwala Jangale and Maruti Tupe (BJP), and former mayor Vaishali Bankar and Yogesh Sasane (NCP).
Bankar had also submitted a proposal to name the crematorium located in Panel number 44 at Ghondhale Nagar after Saurabh Pharate.
On December 17, 2016, 33-year-old Saurabh Pharate, along with two other jawans, died 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 Indian Army in 2004 and was posted in Jammu and Kashmir.