Top opposition leaders on Thursday rushed to a Haryana village for the funeral of a retired soldier whose suicide over demands of uniform pensions for military personnel sparked an ugly political brawl in the Capital.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi reached Bhiwani around 10.30am for the last rites of 70-year-old Ram Kishan Grewal. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also attended the cremation of the deceased Subedar.
As it happened:
1:10 pm: “Centre made no arrangements for the cremation. We faced many difficulties due to chaos,” Ram Kishan’s son Jaswant tells the media.
He slams union minister and former army chief VK Singh, “My father served 30 years in security. He served as Sarpanch. But a BJP minister says he was mentally unstable.”
12:45 pm: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal meets Ram Kishan Grewal’s wife Kitabo Devi. “He has died for the country. We will offer all our help and make even others help your family,” Kejriwal tells Devi.
The Aam Aadmi Party leader announces Rs 1 crore assistance to the family of the deceased ex-soldier. Says Delhi government will give martyr status to Ram Kishan.
“Won’t let his (Grewal’s) death go in vain. Will snatch OROP from the central government” says Kejriwal.
12:30 pm: Ram Kishan Grewal’s family is upset with government as martyr status was not granted to the ex-serviceman.
Congress national spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tells the media that defence minister Manohar Parrikar should have come to Bhiwani to offer his condolence to the bereaved family. He has also slammed union minister and former Army Chief VK Singh statement about the deceased soldier’s mental state.
“When it comes to demand of justice for soldiers, 125 crore people are united. But this government is not able to see the tears of the soldiers,” Surjewala tells media.
12:15 pm: Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal has arrived at the deceased Subedar’s funeral.
12 Noon: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders reached Bhiwani around 10.30 am for the last rites of 70-year-old Ram Kishan Grewal.