Grewal cremated; Rahul, Kejriwal make beeline to Haryana village
Ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, whose alleged suicide over OROP issue unleashed a political storm, was cremated on Thursday at his native village in Haryana where politics played out with Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal being among the mourners.
There was no let up in political bickering over the suicide on the issue of One Rank One Pension(OROP) with Union Minister V K Singh saying Grewal was a Congress worker, a day after he raised questions about the “mental state” of the 70- year-old ex-serviceman.
Congress leader Raj Babbar slammed the former army chief for his remarks while one of Grewal’s sons said he did not contest on Congress ticket.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar hit out at Congress for “playing politics” over the suicide even as Kejriwal announced a compensation of Rs one crore for the family of Grewal.
The case of Grewal’s suicide in the national capital on Tuesday was, meanwhile, handed over to the Crime Branch of Delhi police.
Grewal’s eldest son Dilawar lit the pyre at around noon in the presence of a large number of people who had gathered from nearby areas in Bamla, 20 km away from Bhiwani in Haryana.
Grewal, who was a former sarpanch of his village, committed suicide by consuming poison at a park in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.
Tight security arrangements were made on Thursday in view of the events in New Delhi where Rahul and Kejriwal were detained by police.
The Congress Vice President, who travelled by road, spent a few minutes with the grieving family members of Grewal. He had to jostle with the crowd to reach the family members of Grewal as slogans of “Ram Kishan amar rahe” rent the air.
Other Congress leaders including former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Haryana Congress President Ashok Tanwar, Leader of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Kiran Chaudhary, Selja and Kuldip Bishnoi werea also present.
Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Randeep Singh Surjewala and TMC’s Derek O Brien also reached the village.
“I want the people to take his fight forward. We will fight till our last breath and snatch OROP from the Centre. Our soldiers deserve what is their due,” Kejriwal told reporters in Bhiwani.
On allegations that AAP was politicising the issue, Kejriwal said, “Yes, we are doing politics. We are doing politics to grant our soldiers their rights while Modiji is doing politics to take those rights away.”
Under the AAP government’s compensation policy, the families of martyrs who are residents of Delhi are given Rs one crore.
Gen(retd) V K Singh also rejected reports about Grewal being a prominent face of the ‘OROP’agitation, saying ex- servicemen protesting at Jantar Mantar for its implementation had yesterday said they had seen the former armyman at the protest venue for the first time before he committed suicide.
“It is very unfortunate that political parties are playing politics over the body of an ex-serviceman. It should not happen. Whether Congress or AAP is playing politics, it is condemnable,” Khattar told reporters in Chandigarh.