1993 Mumbai Blasts: MHA Forwards Retired Major's Letter To Ghost Bureaucrats As He Strives For Recognition In Defusing RDX Bomb In Dadar

1993 Mumbai Blasts: MHA Forwards Retired Major's Letter To Ghost Bureaucrats As He Strives For Recognition In Defusing RDX Bomb In Dadar

In the last 31 years, Jadhav has written 369 grievances to the President, Prime minister, the MHA, the MoD, etc, and received different reasons for rejection each time

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 11:55 PM IST
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1993 Mumbai Blast: Retired Major Goes On Hunger Strike For Recognition |

Major (Retd) Vasant Jadhav, who saved hundreds of lives by defusing a bomb during the 1993 Mumbai blasts, continues to be a victim of bureaucratic apathy, with the Union Ministry of Home Affairs forwarding his latest missive to non-existent position.

Jadhav was in charge of the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad at the Mumbai Airport under the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) when he was called in to defuse a 12kg RDX bomb planted in a scooter at Dadar 31 years ago. Following this act of courage, he was recommended for the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry by the BCAS, but was denied by the MHA without providing any reason. While his subordinates from the army received different awards on the recommendation of the Ministry of Defence, Jadhav is still waiting for justice.

Retired Major's Frustration With Vague Responses

In his latest letter to the MHA in March, Jadhav had shared his grievance and observed a one-day fast at the same spot he had defused the bomb. In response, the undersecretary to the Union government, DK Ghosh, forwarded the letter to the chief secretary of Maharashtra Home Department and the secretary of BCAS for “taking appropriate action as deemed fit”. However, both these positions do not exist in reality.

“This is not the first time that I have received such vague letters. There have been eight such instances where their replies are demeaning me. The award started in 1951 and they should have a proper eligibility criteria by now but instead of preparing the criteria, they are harassing me,” Jadhav told The Free Press Journal.

Retired Major's 31-Year Struggle For Recognition

Earlier, the President’s secretariat had forwarded Jadhav’s grievance to the Home Department, but after realising that the department cannot confer the President’s Medal, the secretariat had apologised and said in an RTI reply that the “petition was inadvertently electronically forwarded to the Government of Maharashtra”.

In the last 31 years, Jadhav has written 369 grievances to the President, prime minister, the MHA, the MoD, etc, and received different reasons for rejection each time. “In a population of over one crore people in the city, I was the only one who was able to help them and I rose to the call of the nation. I received over 20 calls that day from the state administration and police but once the job was done, everyone forgot me,” Jadhav said.

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