New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday slammed the Central Government over its decision to extinguish the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate in the national capital after 50 years and merge it with the flame at the National War Memorial.
Taking to Twitter, the Congress MP said, "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." The Amar Jawan Jyoti flame at the India Gate would be extinguished and merged with the flame at the National War Memorial today.
"The Amar Jawan Jyoti flame at India Gate will be extinguished and merged with the flame at the National War Memorial on Friday in a ceremony," said an Indian Army official to ANI.
The ceremony would be presided over by the Integrated Defence Staff chief Air Marshal Balabadhra Radha Krishna who would merge the two flames, officials said.
The India Gate memorial was built by the British government in memory of the British Indian Army soldiers who lost their lives between 1914-1921.
However, the Amar Jawan Jyoti was included in the memorial structure in the 1970s after the massive victory of India over Pakistan in which 93,000 troops of the enemy country surrendered.
After a long wait and multiple considerations, the National War Memorial was built in the India Gate complex by the Narendra Modi government and was inaugurated in 2019.
After the inauguration of the building in War memorial, all military ceremonial events were shifted to it from the India Gate memorial.
The National War Memorial has the names of all the Indian defence personnel who have lost their lives in different operations from the 1947-48 war with Pakistan to the Galwan valley clash with Chinese troops.
The names of troops who lost lives in the counter-terrorist operations are also included on the walls of the memorial.