Andhra ministers hand over Rs 50 lakh ex-gratia to soldier’s family (Ld)

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The Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday handed over Rs 50 lakh ex-gratia to the family of Lance Naik B. Sai Teja, who lost his life in the December 8 IAF helicopter crash.

Hours after an announcement by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, Panchayat Raj Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, and Excise Minister K. Narayana Swami visited Sai Teja’s house in Chittoor district.

They conveyed their condolences to the family and handed over the cheque on behalf of the state government.

Ramachandra Reddy told reporters that they extended condolences to the family and assured all sorts of help on behalf of the state government. He said the family requested for a government job to the wife of Sai Teja and added that he would take the request to the notice of the chief minister and do the needful.

He said the chief minister directed them not to give publicity to the financial assistance being provided to the family of the soldiers as their sacrifices are priceless.

MLA Dwarakanath Reddy and district collector Harinarayana accompanied the ministers.

Hailing from Chittoor district, Sai Teja was serving as Personal Security Officer (PSO) to Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat.

Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 other personnel including Sai Teja died in the Mi-17V5 helicopter which crashed at Katteri, near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.

Hailing from Eguva Regada village in Kurabala Kota mandal of Chittoor district, Sai Teja (27) is survived by wife Shyamala, son Mokshagana, 4, and a daughter Darshini, 2.

Meanwhile, military authorities on Saturday identified the body of Sai Teja. Bodies of the six deceased were identified and handed over to their families.

The soldier’s body is likely to be brought to his native village later in the day from Coimbatore. The last rites will be performed with military honours. The family will decide on final rites after the body is brought home.

Belonging to the Kuruba community, Sai Teja joined the Indian Army in 2012 as a sepoy. While serving in Bangalore Regiment, he was selected for para commando training. Last year, he was appointed as PSO to CDS.

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