Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has reportedly pulled up the state's Panchayati Raj Minister Bhim Singh for his insensitive comment that people joining the Indian armed forces do so to die or to be martyred.
According to television reports, Kumar has asked Singh to immediately tender an unconditional apology to the families of the martyred soldiers hailing from Bihar, withdraw the remark and not to repeat such statements in the future.
Bhim Singh stoked controversy after telling reporters in Bihar:?Jawans (soldiers) are born to be martyred. Why else do people join army and the police force??
Singh also accused the reporter asking him the question that he was asking the querry because he was being paid to do so. He also asked the reporter whether his parents had attended the funeral of the dead soldiers.
According to media reports, he later apologised by saying that his comments were taken out of context.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticised the minister.
Party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said:?This is simply obnoxious, shocking and shameless? any word is less to condemn the statement.?
Four of the five jawans that were martyred on Tuesday were from Bihar.