A day that started with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “lying” to the country on the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue also saw him being detained by the police for trying to meet the family members of an ex-serviceman who allegedly committed suicide over OROP.
Mr. Kejriwal was taken to the R.K. Puram Police Station in south Delhi from the Lady Hardinge Medical College Hospital, where he was detained. Earlier, his movement was blocked by the police for about three hours and he was not allowed to meet the family members of ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, who allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison.
Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia, too, was detained while talking to the family members of the deceased.
“Formally detained by the police. No idea where they are taking me”, Mr. Kejriwal tweeted at 7.42 p.m. Before this, he had tweeted that his vehicle was ‘surrounded by police’, and they were not allowing him to leave. He also claimed that the ex-serviceman’s son had said that he was manhandled by police while being detained at the Connaught Place Police Station.
The tweet prompted Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who had been detained earlier in the day, to re-tweet and say, “This is Emergency.”
Calling his detention “unprecedented and worse than Emergency”, the Chief Minister said that “if someone commits suicide in my own State, I can’t meet the family? This has exposed Modi Sarkar on their seriousness about implementing OROP.”
Support for Kejriwal
Support for Mr. Kerjiwal poured in from other parts of the country as well with the West Bengal Chief Minister tweeting, “What is happening ? Unprecedented. A CM is detained in his own State. He cannot move about freely. Unacceptable.”
Earlier during the day, Mr. Kejriwal had said that a country in which soldiers and farmers start committing suicides has no future, targeting the Central Government.
‘Appeals’ to Centre
In an ‘appeal’ to the Centre, Mr. Kejriwal said it was very sad that an ex-serviceman had to give his life demanding the implementation of OROP. He claimed that PM Modi has been “lying” to the entire country by saying OROP has been implemented, even as soldiers have been demanding it for more than a year and a half. He said Mr. Grewal, who had written a letter to the Defence Minister, would not have died if OROP had been implemented.
He also said that the ex-serviceman’s “martyrdom will not go in vain” and said the entire country will now join the struggle.
Mr. Kejriwal added that the government should stop trying to derive political gains from the recent surgical strikes. He said the Centre had put up hoardings “asking for votes”, citing the surgical strikes, misusing soldiers for political gains.
He also said that the disability pension given to soldiers had been cut, and their ranks had also been downgraded recently.
The Chief Minister also demanded that the disability pension should be increased from what it was earlier, and soldiers be immediately brought back to the same ranks from which they were downgraded.
Mr. Kejriwal also demanded Rs. 1 crore compensation for the families of each of the soldiers who had recently been killed in the Uri attacks, citing a Delhi government policy under which families of soldiers who were Delhi residents are given Rs. 1 crore by the government.