Tirupati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday announced a ten-fold increase in cash rewards for the gallantry award winners of the state.

"Cash award for winners of Param Vir Chakra and Ashok Chakra are presently getting Rs 10 lakh. It will be increased to Rs 1 crore. For Maha Vir Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardee, the cash award will be increased from Rs 8 lakh to Rs 80 lakh. For the armed personnel winning Vir Chakra and Shaurya Chakra, the cash award will be increased from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 60 lakh. The kin of all armed personnel from the state who lay down their lives in the line of duty will be given Rs 50 lakh," he said.

Chief Minister was speaking after receiving Flame of Victory, to commemorate the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Swarnim Vijay Varsh to mark the iconic Indo-Pak War of 1971.

Earlier he visited the residence of Major General (Retd) C Venugopal, the War Veteran, and felicitated him for his contributions in the 1971 war. He also met the family members of the War Hero who were decorated with a bar of medals. Later at the Police Parade Grounds, the Chief Minister felicitated J Chinatalli, widow of Naik J Sanyasi.

Chief Minister recalled the events that led to the 1971 War and the creation of Bangladesh. He praised Armed Forces for liberating what was then called East Pakistan. The war lasted for just 13 days on December 16 and the new nation was born and democracy was upheld.

Jagan saluted the armed forces for guarding borders even in adverse weather conditions to ensure peace in the country. "The brave hearts will live forever. It is not a job but a service to the nation safeguarding the country of 135 crore people," he said.

Chief Minister concluded his speech by quoting from Kohima War Memorial which reads: "When you go home, tell them of us and say for your tomorrow we gave our today."

The Victory Flame, which was lit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ignite the year-long Golden Jubilee celebrations on December 16, has come to Tirupati to begin its Southern journey. The Flame will be taken to different places to relive the spirit of the victory.

An audiovisual presentation of the 1971 War was played along with a medley of patriotic songs by the army band. Officers and Men from the services besides state cabinet ministers and officials were present at the event.

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