Shattered family rues politics over ex-serviceman Grewal’s death

Bhiwani (Haryana), Nov 2 (IANS) Shattered by his suicide, the family of ex-army man Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal is ruing the politics being played over the death of the army veteran.

In Grewal’s Bamla village, his son Kulwant said that the politicising of his father’s death should be stopped.

“I don’t understand why they are playing politics over our father’s death. He was deeply committed to all causes with which he was associated with. He should be declared a martyr as he gave his life for the OROP cause. He should be cremated with full military honours,” Kulwant said on Wednesday in Grewal’s native village.

He said that his brother and other relatives had been illegally detained by the Delhi Police, beaten up and were being harassed after Grewal committed suicide on Tuesday evening.

Grewal, 70, formerly of Rajputana Rifles, allegedly consumed poison at a park in New Delhi on Tuesday evening and died demanding the immediate implementation of the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ scheme.

Before dying, he telephoned his son Jaswant and told him that he was committing suicide as a “sacrifice” for the nation, his family told the media.

Grewal was a prominent person in his village and was associated with a number of development projects in and around the village.

The police had detained Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday when they tried to meet the grieving family in a Delhi hospital.

Gandhi, detained twice during the day, was let off at night.

Grewal’s son Jaswant said he, his younger brother and brother-in-law were beaten and taken to a police station when they tried to meet Gandhi. Demanding justice, he said he had never witnessed such police conduct vis-a-vis veterans’ families.

As the tug of war played out, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused Gandhi and Kejriwal of politicising the OROP scheme announced last year.

Retired soldiers have been alleging that the government has not addressed their concerns fully about disparity in pension payments.

They resumed a relay hunger strike on Tuesday for rectification of anomalies in the OROP, which, among other measures, is meant to ensure equal pension to retired soldiers who served with the same rank and for the same duration, regardless of the year of retirement.