The family of beheaded soldier Lance Naik Hemraj on Monday called off their six-day-old fast after a visit by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and top BJP leaders and assurances by Army Chief Gen. Bikram Singh that steps will be taken to get back the severed head.
The end of the protest came in the evening when Mr. Yadav met Hemraj’s wife Dharmvati, mother Meena Devi and cousin Narender, offering all help to the family as well as for the development of the village.
Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh visited the family of the martyred soldier and announced that the government would give Rs. 46 lakh to the family. “We are also talking to other ministries so that the family get a petrol pump,” he said.
Mr. Yadav promised to take steps to meet the family’s demands, including development of the road for the village and take up with the Centre the allotment of a petrol pump for them.
“The family have shown the strength to face this (tragedy). We have to stand by them. We should all support the family of Lance Naik Hemraj. We have assured that whatever demands they have made for village.”
The day began with the family refusing to take “even liquid”, demanding that the Army chief meet them personally and give an assurance that Hemraj’s head severed by Pakistani troops last week be brought back or else they will continue the fast.
However, the family decided to end the fast after a string of leaders, including Mr. Yadav, Mr. Singh and top BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh visited them and offered support.