Army veterans vow to fight for Gurmehar, mother wants issue to end
New Delhi, Feb 28: Army veterans in Punjab have stepped forward to fight a legal battle on behalf of Gurmehar Kaur, the daughter of an army martyr, who started a social media campaign against the ABVP. The mother of the 20-year-old Delhi University student, whose defiant stand against the ABVP drew a volley of hate messages on her Facebook account, however, refused to be drawn into the controversy over it.
When contacted, Rajvinder Kaur said, “No thanks… I do not want this controversy to go on.”
Punjab State Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association (Sewa) president Col (retd) Kuldip Singh Grewal vowed to fight a legal battle on Gurmehar’s behalf “till the matter reaches its logical conclusion”. “Her opinion should be respected as she has the right to raise her voice,” he said. “No one should remain unaffected when a daughter is threatened with rape. The people of the country should raise their voice to protect the daughter of a martyr,” Col (retd) Tejinder Singh Bajwa, a member of the association, said.
Gurmehar’s father Capt Mandeep Singh was commissioned in the 49 Army Air Defence Regiment in 1991 and was serving with the 4 Rashtriya Rifles battalion when he died fighting militants on August 6, 1999. Brigadier (retd) Ashwini Kumar, former Commanding Officer of the 3 Rashtriya Rifles battalion, who was serving in the area when the attack on Capt Mandeep’s company took place, said, “The Captain and his men fought against militants with great courage and they were given a befitting reply.” Mandeep’s brother Davinderdeep Singh, a professor at a college in Nakodar at Jalandhar — Gulmehar’s hometown, said his brother would have stood like a rock behind her. “She is entitled to her opinion… she did not say anything anti-national,” he said.
Meanwhile, a number of ex-servicemen and representatives of various organisations condemned the rape threat to Gurmehar and appealed to the Delhi government to provide “proper security” to her.