Rahul, Kejriwal attend funeral of ex-serviceman in Haryana

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attend the funeral.

November 03, 2016 04:42 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 06:19 am IST - BAMLA (BHIWANI)

A day after Delhi witnessed high political drama over the alleged suicide of retired Army subedar Ram Kishan Grewal (69), he was cremated at his native village on Thursday in the presence of several political leaders and a large number of mourners.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attended the funeral ceremony along with several senior political leaders and workers from their parties.

Ex gratia of Rs.1 cr. for kin

Mr. Kejriwal announced an ex gratia payment of Rs.1 crore to the next of kin of Mr Grewal.

Amid slogans of “Jab Tak Suraj Chand Rahega, Ram Kishan Tera Naam Rahega” (As long as the sun and the moon exist, Ram Kishan’s name will too) and “Ram Kishan Amar Rahe” (Long live Ram Kishan), the son of the Army veteran lit the funeral pyre around noon.

Hundreds thronged the cremation ground to pay their last respects to the veteran. Those present remembered the veteran as “helpful” and “socially active”.

“He was elected as sarpanch in 2005 and carried out several development works in the village,” said Jaldir Grewal.

With the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party strongly taking up the one rank one pesion issue (OROP), Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said problems related to OROP would be resolved in two months.

Parrikar promises solution soon

Mr. Parrikar told Army veterans in Budgam, Jammu and Kashmir that problems related to the one rank one pension (OROP) scheme would be resolved in two months.

“Only one lakh ex-servicemen [out of over 20 lakh] are not getting pension as per the OROP scheme due to some technical difficulty or documentation problems. We will resolve these problems in the coming two months,” Mr. Parrikar said. But Mr. Parrikar’s Cabinet colleague, Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh sparked a political row when he said that Ram Kishan Grewal, the ex-soldier who committed suicide, was a Congress worker.

Controversial remark

“He [ Grewal] was a Congress worker. He became sarpanch on Congress ticket. However, he was our soldier. I feel sad over his death,” Mr. Singh said.

Earlier in Ram Kishan Grewal’s village, relatives and mourners from neighbouring villages had started to trickle in soon after the body of the veteran reached the village around 3 a.m. Many of those present at the funeral ceremony disapproved of the politics over Grewal’s death. “All these leaders have come here just to play politics in the name of Army men. I doubt any of them has real sympathy for the family,” said Sajjan, a villager.

Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Mr. Modi was playing politics to deprive ex-servicemen of their rights.

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