Brahmi Devi, widow of Kripa Ram, a martyr from the Indian Army in Himachal Pradesh, has demanded that the George Cross medal that was posthumously conferred on her husband be returned to her after news surfaced that the medal is put on auction in Britain. The George Cross (GC) is the highest civil decoration of the United Kingdom, and also holds, or has held, that status in many of the other countries of the Commonwealth of Nations
October 14, 2011 - Shimla
Brahmi Devi, widow of Kripa Ram, a martyr from the Indian Army in Himachal Pradesh, has demanded that the George Cross medal that was posthumously conferred on her husband be returned to her after news surfaced that the medal is put on auction in Britain.
Brahmi Devi, widow of the George Cross awardee Kripa Ram who is in her late seventies, said that a man posing as an Indian Army officer duped her ten years ago by taking away her husband's medal. Brahmi was widowed when she was 13-year-old. The old lady said that she merely wanted the medal to be returned to her.
Brahmi Devi complained to the Police that her medal should be returned to her. She says: "Nobody came to enquire about what happened. Nobody came to tell me whether the medal had been recovered or not. My demand is that my husband's medal should be returned to me, nothing else."
Brahmi Devi said the medal, awarded to Kripa Ram by the then Governor General Lord Wavell, reminded her of her husband who was killed when she was only 13 years old. She has been living in squalid conditions since then in Bhapral village of Himachal Pradesh.
Her relatives also enquired about the stolen medal and urged the police officials to bring back the medal and give it to its rightful owner.
According to Prithvi Raj, Inspector General (IG), Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Himachal Pradesh Police, the medal was considered stolen until it was found that Brahmi Devi had been duped by a few scrupulous elements who made her part with it.
"It was reported that this medal had been stolen by some people from her house after a burglary. But later on it was revealed that actually this medal was taken away from Brahmi Devi by one Kirpal Singh by duping her after posing himself as a representative of the Indian Army," said Prithvi Raj.
Prithvi Raj said that the crooks sold the stolen medal to a man living in the UK, who wanted to put it up for auction.
He added that Interpol intervened on behalf of the Himachal Pradesh Police and stopped the auction, but could not recover it as the man who possessed the medal has legal documents to prove that he bought it.
The George Cross is the highest civil decoration of the United Kingdom, and also holds, or has held, that status in many of the other countries of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The George Cross is bestowed upon civilians and military personnel for actions that are not in the directly in the face of the enemy or for which purely military honours would not normally be granted. By Hemant Chauhan
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