Gurdaspur hero SP Baljit Singh cremated with full state honours
Emotions ran high as people from all walks of life bid a tearful adieu to Gurdaspur superintendent of police (detective) Baljit Singh, who was killed fighting terrorists in Dinanagar, was cremated with full state honours here on Wednesday.
Baljit's family on Tuesday had threatened to delay the cremation demanding jobs for all three children of the martyred officer. However, after intervention by some senior police officials, the family relented.
Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal also visited the family on Wednesday and assured all possible help to the family but refrained from making any announcement.
The chief minister also held a close-door 30-minute meeting with the family in which Baljit's wife Daljit Kaur, his three children, uncle and three other close relatives were present.
As per an official, who was part of the meeting, Baljit's wife told the Chief Minister to pay special attention to the family, citing that her husband was the sole breadwinner of the family.
Though Daljit did not demand anything categorical from Badal, she said the family was of opinion that jobs should be sanctioned to its members as there was no source of income.
Special mention was also made by the family to recruit Baljit's son as an SP-rank officer after he completes his graduation, said sources.
The chief minister told the family as it was the day of cremation, the time was not appropriate to make any announcement.
"But our government would remain at family's beck and call and leave no stone unturned to help them. I assure you that as the chief minister whatever I can do for martyrs' families, I will do," said Badal.
Baljit's close friends told that the family was keen on getting jobs for two children, one from the state and other from the central government. The family is also believed to have conveyed its stand to Union Minister of State Vijay Sampla who also visited family.
Badal, however, told the media that the family has not put forward any specific demand. "Moreover, the families of the martyrs don't demand. They are bestowed such things with honour," he said.
Huge crowd from different parts of the region poured in to attend the last journey of the martyred officer. The body was carried in a flower-decked vehicle from Sant Pura locality (Baljit's house) to the Laxmi Nagar cremation ground. Along the entire three-km stretch, people were seen on their rooftops showering flowers on the martyred officer. All shops and commercial establishments were shut in the area as mark of respect to the brave cop.
A gun salute was given to the martyr by a contingent of Punjab Police, prior to which bugles sounded the Last Post. Baljit's son Maninder Singh lit the pyre. He was inconsolable and broke into tears several times.
Director general of police Sumedh Saini, state BJP chief Kamal Sharma, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) in-charge Shakeel Ahmed, PPCC chief Partap Singh Bajwa, Transport Minister Ajit Singh Kohar and many prominent SAD-BJP, Congress leaders were present at the cremation.