Khattar says Grewal no martyr, Kejriwal announces Rs 1-cr aid

Chandigarh, Nov 3 (IANS) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday virtually added fuel to the raging controversy over the suicide of ex-serviceman Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal by raising a question over ‘martyr’ status for the deceased.

On the other hand, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Rs 1 crore assistance to Grewal’s family.

Khattar said that Grewal, who committed suicide in New Delhi on Tuesday evening over the issue of One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme, cannot be declared a martyr.

Khattar was responding to media queries following a demand from Grewal’s family that he be declared a martyr.

“The soldiers who give their life for the country while fighting on the front are categorised as martyrs,” Khattar said, adding that Grewal’s death should not be politicised.

Pointing out that there were some discrepancies in Grewal’s bank account, which led him (Grewal) to take the extreme step, Khattar said that a soldier can never commit suicide.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the same day Rs 1 crore as financial assistance to the family of the deceased soldier.

“We are giving Rs 1 crore to the family of Ram Kishan (Grewal), whom we consider a martyr,” Kejriwal told journalists in Bamla village in Haryana’s Bhiwani district after Grewal’s cremation.

Kejriwal added that the money being given as compensation — in line with a Delhi government policy — was a small amount and meant to be just a good gesture to the martyrs.

Kejriwal, who was detained for seven hours by police in Delhi on Wednesday when he tried to meet Grewal’s family, was critical of the way police treated the grieving family.

Asked about allegations that he was doing politics over Grewal’s death, Kejriwal replied: “Yes, we are doing politics. We are doing politics to secure the soldiers’ rights and the central government is doing politics to cheat the soldiers.”

Haryana’s Leader of Opposition INLD’s Abhay Singh Chautala accused the Congress of politicising the ex-serviceman’s suicide.

“The Congress did nothing on OROP issue when it was in power for over four decades,” Chautala pointed out.

–IANS

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