7 northern states have country’s 72% war widows: Defence Ministry

‘1218 veer naris in J&K alone’

Country’s northern states including Jammu & Kashmir continue to contribute to armed forces as the highest 72 percent of veer naris (war widows) are from seven northern states. 

According to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the Minister of Defence revealed that seven northern states including Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu-Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh have 10,521 veer naris of the country’s total 14,467, which comprises 72 percent. 

“Punjab tops with 2,132 veer naris, which means that most of the soldiers belong to Punjab. Uttar Pradesh has 1,805 followed by Haryana with 1566,” said the Ministry of Defence in the Rajya Sabha on Monday while detailing the state-wise number of veer naris.

Himalayan Uttarakhand stood fourth with 1,407 veer naris followed by Rajasthan with 1,317.  Jammu & Kashmir UT remains ahead of many big states with 1218 veer naris.

Earlier, the Ministry of Defence in the Lok Sabha shared details of the state-wise representation of troops in the armed forces from across the country, showing north-western states — Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi along with UTs of Chandigarh and J&K — have 21.88% share among troops and junior commissioned officers (JCOs) in the Army. 

JCOs are promoted from among the troops. 

The Army has 11.54 lakh troops and JCOs, of whom 2.52 lakh belong to north-western states. Punjab alone sends 89,893 troops and JCOs — 7.78% of the total strength. 

However, the Army does not maintain domicile records of its existing 43,000-odd officers. The IAF and Navy have the record, which has been disclosed in the Lok Sabha. 

Data from the 2011 Census suggests the collective population of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, J&K and Chandigarh constitutes just 7.47% of the country’s population. 

Yet, as many as 20,483 (15.85%) of the 1.29 lakh IAF airmen belong to the north-western states. In the case of the Navy, the north-western states have a share of 19.36% among sailors. Overall, the three forces have 13,41,944 jawans, JCOs, airmen and sailors. The north-western states contribute 2,84,440 (21.19%) of these—(KNO)

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