Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has reportedly backed out twice from a proposed condolence visit to the village of Lt Kiran Shekhawat, the woman naval officer who died in a plane crash off the Goa coast last month.
Shekhawat’s father-in-law, Shrichand Chhoker (58), was informed twice – on April 6 and 10 – that Khattar would visit the family house in Kurthala village, media reports said.
The family of Shekhawat, local residents and the district administration, including the tehsildar, district collector and around 100 policemen, were left waiting in vain.
“This is not a joke. We are already going through a tough period,” Chhoker was quoted as saying. He accused the state government of playing with the family’s emotions.
“When I called up the CM’s residence, an official rudely asked me, ‘CM ke aane se aapki beti ki shahadat safal hogi kya (Will your daughter’s sacrifice be successful if the CM comes)?’ We never invited him. He called us and said he wanted to visit. Now, we don’t want him to come.”
Chhoker said after the CM’s no-show on April 6, the family received another call from his office two days later regarding a visit on April 10. A tent was even put up in the village for Khattar but he did not turn up.
A senior official from Khattar’s office said the chief minister was held up due to “political compulsions”.
Shekhawat, 28, was an observer on board a Dornier surveillance aircraft which crashed near Goa. She was the first woman naval officer to die in an air crash.
She was the wife of Shrichand Chhoker’s son, naval officer Vivek Chhoker.