The following has just been published in the HT, Chandigarh edition. What does it bode for those of us who collect and study Indian awards? Is there cause for concern?!
, Chandigarh edition, 20 April 2005:
Medals won overseas, lost at home
Man Aman Singh Chhina
Chandigarh, April 20
A GANG of tricksters is on the prowl in the villages of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, trying to rob old soldiers of their hard-earned campaign medals. The cheats are interested particularly in the soldiers who took part in the Second World War and try to fool the veterans into handing these over to them.
With the 60th anniversary of the end of the war approaching in May this year, there have been several cases where these men appeared in interior villages looking for old soldiers or their family members. Medals of the Second World War are particularly hot-selling items in the antique markets because of the anniversary.
Some veterans have already parted with their medals on being told by these cheats that they have come from the “government” and the medals are needed for inspection. In other cases, some well-dressed men have told old soldiers that they have come from their regimental records office and that the medals are required by the regiment.
A city lawyer, Capt Navdeep Singh, also serving in the Territorial Army, learnt about this gang when he was approached by some of the victims. He has written to the Sainik Welfare Departments of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, asking them to forewarn the ex-servicemen so that they are not fooled.
It is learnt that the Auxiliary Air Medal, awarded in WW-II, is quite in demand because the Auxiliary Air Force is no longer in existence. One veteran of the Punjab Regiment was approached to hand over his Burma Star, which was awarded to those who fought in Burma, but he refused to part with it.
There are various Indian medals already on sale on various websites. Whether these have been sold to their present owners or have been acquired through deceit is difficult to ascertain.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/5922 ... 000000.htm