The Gujjar Mandi Chowk war memorial in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir has been renovated and dedicated to the public ahead of 'Rajouri Day', a defence spokesperson said. Celebrated annually on April 13, Rajouri Day is observed to remember those who died for the liberation of the border district in 1948.
It is commemorated with a wreath-laying ceremony at Gujjar Mandi Chowk War Memorial wherein several civil and military dignitaries of the district pay homage to the martyrs. "Over a period of time, the symbolic venue has aged and required upkeep and maintenance. Moreover, utilisation of this chowk for various rallies and demonstrations has further demoted the significance of this historic venue," the official said.
"Hence, in a step to improve the present state of the chowk and reinstate the sublimity of the War Memorial, an initiative was taken by Ace of Spades Division to renovate the same for Rajouri Day Celebrations with the help of rotary club and local populace of Rajouri," the spokesperson added. Various improvements including placing of fresh slabs with names of the martyrs, marble tiling of the complete surface, placing of lights and repairing the outer structure along with steel railing have been incorporated, the official said.
The memorial also has a structure constructed to commemorate the history of gallant actions of 2nd Lt Rama Raghoba Rane, who laid down his life while facilitating the Indian Army's advance to Rajouri which earned him the highest war-time gallantry award, Param Vir Chakra. "This small gesture as a tribute to the martyrs who have made the supreme sacrifice for liberation and security of Rajouri over a period of time will go a long way in upholding the sentiments attached with the stories of valour connected to the martyrs," the spokesperson said.
"The effort has been hugely supported and appreciated by the 'Awam' (people) of Rajouri," he added.