If Pakistan does not return the severed head of the martyred soldier Hemraj, India should get at least 10 heads from the other side, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said on Monday.
“The question is: Will we sit without any reaction and engage in a dialogue [with Pakistan]? This should not happen. At least the government should react in some way. That is why we have said the government should take some tough measures,” she said, talking to reporters here after visiting Hemraj’s family along with party leaders Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh.
Hemraj, along with Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh, was killed on January 8 by the Pakistan Army regulars after infiltrating into the Indian territory in the Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Today, the nation is demanding: Don’t prove a weak government. They [the Pakistan Army] came on the LoC, killed our soldier and took away his head with them and there should be no reaction ... this should not be tolerated at any cost.”
Ms. Swaraj said: “The government should apologise for the apathy. They should apologise to the family of the soldier and the country. But they should at the same time take revenge for the incident.”
She said Hemraj’s wife Dharamvati was “disturbed about two things — one is about the honour of her husband. She said I couldn’t even see his face. As you know that his body arrived without the head, she is shocked at this, but nobody from the government came for his final rites. The other is about the honour and dignity. Both her feelings are legitimate.” Ms. Sushma said: “When the entire country is feeling outraged, the government didn’t even inform [us] when and how the last rites will be performed.”
There should have been sincere efforts by the government to be present at Hemraj’s last rites.
“As per rules, the Defence Minister should have himself come here. If he couldn’t come, the State Minister should have definitely come. The Home Minister should have come, somebody from the PMO or some State Minister should have come. There is Army in Mathura ... somebody from the Central Command in Delhi should have come. But the kind of apathy that has been shown, their grievance is genuine,” said Ms. Sushma.