Congress accused the Centre of ‘erasing’ history by extinguishing the eternal flame

Amar Jawan Jyoti at iconic India Gate in New Delhi was merged with the flame at the National War Memorial in a military ceremony followed by a parade on Friday even as Congress slammed the government for the move.

The torch-bearing flames from Amar Jawan Jyoti was carried and merged with National War Memorial in a full military tradition.

Soldiers from tri services marched carrying the flame from India Gate to the war memorial metres away from there.

Air Marshal Balabhadra Radha Krishna, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC), presided over the ceremony.

The officer laid wreath first at Amar Jawan Jyoti and then at War Memorial. He was welcomed by three deputy chiefs in full military tradition.

Amar Jawan Jyoti was built in 1972 underneath the India Gate arch to commemorate soldiers martyred in the Indo-Pak War of 1971.

It is a memorial symbolised by an inverted bayonet and soldier’s helmet over it with an eternal flame burning beside it.

Amar Jawan Jyoti’s existence was questioned two years ago when National War Memorial came into existence and the nation got a new eternal flame there.

The Congress accused the Centre of ‘erasing’ history by extinguishing the eternal flame of Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate and merging it with the immortal flame at the National War Memorial.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the Congress would once again light the Amar Jawan Jyoti for the brave soldiers.

“It is a matter of great sadness that the immortal flame that used to burn for our brave soldiers will be extinguished today,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet.

Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari, too, said, “Merging Amar Jawan Jyoti with War Memorial Torch means erasing history. Whatever is being done is a national tragedy and an attempt to rewrite history. The BJP has built the National War Memorial but that does not mean they can extinguish the Amar Jawan Jyoti.”

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, “This government has no respect for democratic tradition & established convention, whether in parliament or out of it. The sanctity acquired after fifty years of the Amar Jawan Jyoti is being lightly snuffed out.”

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