Chief Minister of Puducherry V Narayanasamy on Friday announced a Rs 1,000 hike in the state pension for freedom fighters. Felicitating freedom fighters at a function organised the department of information and publicity on the occasion of the 58th De Jure Transfer Day, he said a monthly pension of Rs 8,000 was presently paid to each freedom fighter. From now on, the freedom fighters would get Rs 9,000 a month, he said. Around 1,380 freedom fighters or their descendants were getting the pension sponsored by the territorial government while 109 were getting the Central pension. He said there has been a plea for a raise in the state government-sponsored pension, hence the hike by Rs 1,000. Territorial Speaker V P Sivakolundhu, AIADMK legislature party leader A Anbalagan and members of freedom fighters associations were present at the function. Earlier, Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi and Narayanasamy paid tribute to freedom fighters at Keezhoor village, near here. Keezhoor is close to neighbouring Tamil Nadu and the then French regime conducted a referendum there on October 17, 1954 to ascertain the wish of the peoples representatives on the future of French rule in Puducherry and constituent regions of Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam. After a majority of them expressed the desire that French establishments in India be merged with the Indian Union, a Treaty of Cession was signed between French and Indian governments leading first to de facto merger of French establishments with the Indian Union with effect from November 1, 1954. De Jure transfer was accomplished on August 16, 1962 after ratification of the treaty in French Parliament. Bedi drove to Keezhoor and paid floral tribute at the memorial erected at the site where the referendum was held. Narayanasamy, Sivakolundhu and PWD minister A Namassivayam and legislators, among others, paid homage at the memorial. Puducherry has been seeking full statehood for the last several years on the ground that the territorial system of administration was not conferring full-fledged powers to elected governments.