New Delhi, Apr 9 (PTI) Kamla Devi, mother of rifleman Rinku Ram who went missing while patrolling along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh in 2008, finally won her battle of more than seven years as the Centre sanctioned her pension, thanks to an intervention by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

In November, 2009, Rinku Ram of JAK Rifles fell into a raging river while patrolling along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) along China border in Arunachal Pradesh. His body was never found.

His mother approached the Armed Forces Tribunal to get her son’s pension, but was told that it would be released only after the body was found.

“The defence minister immediately got the case examined. Kamla Devi, mother of Late Rifleman Rinku Ram, could not be granted the Ordinary Family Pension as the family income of the claimant exceeded the prescribed income criteria for admissibility of the pension,” a defence ministry statement said.

However, under the provisions of the Indian Evidence Act, a person missing for more than 7 years may be presumed dead. Hence, in the case of Rinku Ram, the death certificate was issued by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh on April 4, the statement said.

Following the development, the principal controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions), Allahabad issued the Pension Payment Order (PPO) dated April 5 in favour of Rinku Ram’s mother.

As per the PPO, the Special Family Pension of Rs 7,000 per month with effect from November 19, 2009 to December 31 2015, and thereafter of Rs 17,990 per month, have been granted, the statement said.

In addition, gross Death-Cum-Retirement Gratuity (DCRG) of Rs 86,106 and ex-gratia lump sum of Rs 10 lakh have been sanctioned to the claimant, the defence ministry added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.