High drama after veteran commits suicide over OROP

Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia held, prevented from meeting kin.

November 02, 2016 05:03 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 06:22 am IST - NEW DELHI

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi being detained by the police in New Delhi on Wednesday when he tried to meet kin of the former Army jawan, Ram Kishan Grewal. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi being detained by the police in New Delhi on Wednesday when he tried to meet kin of the former Army jawan, Ram Kishan Grewal. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

A retired Army subedar’s suicide demanding one rank, one pension (OROP) plunged the capital into chaos with the police detaining and releasing Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

While Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Sisodia were released late in the evening, the Chief Minister was freed just before midnight from the R.K. Puram police station. Soon afterwards, Mr. Kejriwal alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been “lying” to the nation on the OROP issue.

Mr. Gandhi alleged that the family of the deceased ex-subedar, Ram Kishen Grewal, was beaten up and prevented from meeting him at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital.

After his release, the Congress leader stated that the least the Government could do was to apologise to the family of the deceased. Several senior Congress leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sheila Dixit, Ahmed Patel, Ghluam Nabi Azad and Ajay Maken, were detained and let off by the Delhi police.

The Delhi police’s efforts to prevent top AAP and Congress leaders from meeting the family of Grewal — who allegedly consumed poison after he was not allowed to submit a petition to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday — only escalated matters. Mr. Gandhi, in fact, was detained twice even as he termed the development as the first signs of how the “country was changing”. Later police said prohibitory orders imposed in Connaught Place would be strictly enforced.

Chaotic scenes at Delhi hospitals

First, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was denied entry on Wednesday at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where ex-subedar Ram Kishen Grewal’s family and friends were present and taken to Mandir Marg police station where he had a brief interaction with the ex-serviceman’s son.

Nearly four hours later, his bid to meet the family again was foiled when the police detained him at Gole Market and along with fellow senior leaders from his party, the Congress leader was taken to the Tilak Marg police station from where he was let off late in the evening.

Also at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, minutes before Mr. Gandhi’s visit, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s interaction with the family was cut short by the police’s sudden announcement that he had to leave.

Along with fellow AAP MLA Commando Surendra, he was dragged and shoved into a bus that took him to Parliament Street police station.

Lady Hardinge Hospital, another city hospital where the body of the ex-subedar was kept, also witnessed chaotic scenes.

The detainee in this case was Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who first made an unsuccessful attempt to enter the hospital for a couple of hours and then expressed his desire to leave and meet Grewal’s kin at Connaught Place police station. But like the entry, the exit bid, too, was blocked causing a deadlock, which continued till he was “forcefully” taken to R.K. Puram Police station in South Delhi.

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