Ex-serviceman’s suicide gives OROP political turn

NEW DELHI: The suicide of Ram Kishan Grewal, an ex-serviceman, over the One Rank One Pension (OROP) has taken a nasty political turn on Wednesday.

Grewal, 70, had ended his life by consuming poison at Jantar Mantar. He was staging a protest at Jantar Mantar demanding One Rank One Pension (OROP).

Amid the chaos over suicide by ex-serviceman, social activist Anna Hazare slammed the government for its inability to translate words into action over the OROP scheme.

Hazare said, “On one hand government glorifies soldiers and on the other hand, it doesn’t fulfil promises made to them.” Hazare’s comment came on a day when political leaders hit the streets in Delhi over the army veteran’s suicide.

The incident triggered a nation-wide controversy and Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lashed out at the BJP government. They were detained by the Delhi Police subsequently. After being released, Rahul Gandhi slammed the police and asked, “Do you not feel ashamed?”

Grewal’s son Jaswant complained that the police have beaten him and members of his family. The police, however, claimed that the family of Grewal was creating ruckus and they had to detain them. Delhi Police Special Commissioner MK Meena said Rahul Gandhi came to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital despite the police advice not to do so. Rahul Gandhi got upset on hearing Jaswant’s complaint. He commented that this shows the undemocratic mindset of Modi government. Kejriwal also criticized the NDA government for the highhanded behavior of the police. Police Commissioner Meena had commented that democracy does not mean creating obstruction at hospital.

The first politician to reach Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital was Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. He was detained. Then it was the turn of Rahul Gandhi to be detained. Afterward Arvind Kejriwal came and had the same treatment from the police. AAP leader Sanjay Singh said the Union government is adopting undemocratic attitude. “People who gave 30 years of their lives have been sitting on dharna for one year and a half”. The Congress party has demanded that the government should implement OROP immediately.

Kejriwal said angrily: “The Prime Minister says OROP has been implemented, and soldiers are dying demanding it to be implemented. It means the PM is lying across the country. Then why did he commit suicide? The Centre is deceiving the Army. I have come to meet his family. If anyone commits suicide in my state, should I not meet the family?”

Grewal’s family and OROP campaigners said Grewal was disappointed over the delay in implementation of the scheme which was announced earlier this year.

However, earlier in the day Home Minister Rajnath Singh defended the action of Delhi Police after they detained Rahul Gandhi when he tried to meet relatives of the deceased. “Whatever has to be done for risk reduction, the Delhi Police will do,” Rajnath said.

While celebrating the Diwali with the Army and ITBP personnel in Sumdo, Kinnaur, Modi had said that the first instalment of nearly Rs. 5,500 crore had been paid for implementing OROP.

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