Press Trust of India

Rename Srinagar airport, says BJP leader

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Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir BJP vice president and former minister Sham Lal Sharma on Tuesday demanded renaming the Srinagar airport in the name of Major Somnath Sharma, the first Param Vir Chakra awardee who laid down his life while fighting tribal raiders from Pakistan to save the Srinagar airfield in 1947.
“Due to the martyrdom of Major Somnath Sharma, Kashmir is with India today. We appeal to the Lieutenant Governor to name Kashmir Airport after his name,” the BJP leader said while paying tributes to the Major on his 73rd death anniversary in a programme organised by Shri Kailakh Jyotish Avim Vedic Sansthan Trust.
Major Somnath was awarded Param Vir Chakra, the highest military honour in India, in 1950.
Despite a fracture in his arm, Major Somnath fought with bravery. He led his battalion to Budgam in Kashmir in October 1947 to thwart Pakistani infiltration and lost his life while saving the Srinagar airfield.
The BJP leader said that the martyrs have sacrificed their today for securing the future of their countrymen and the nation will always remain indebted to them.
He also demanded that January 31, which is the birth anniversary date of Major Somnath, be declared as a state holiday and installation of his statue in the Jammu city.
Major Somnath was born on January 31, 1923, in Himachal Pradesh. He was the Company Commander of the Delta Company of the 4th Battalion of Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army. (PTI)


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