Upper caste villagers deny funeral ground to Pampore martyr Vir Singh

New Delhi, June 27: When the entire nation was mourning the death of eight CRPF jawans killed in the attack at Pampore on Saturday, in a shocking display of caste prejudice, the villagers of martyred constable Vir Singh’s village in Nagla Kewal in Shikohabad, Firozabad district halted his funeral.

According to TOI, upper castes of the village refused a public land to be used for the cremation of the slain soldier, who is from the Nat (acrobats) community. After the intervention of district officials the villagers agreed to give a 10 by 10 metre plot for his last rites.

The incident took place when the family of the martyred soldier wished to erect a statue of him near a village road where every year local fair takes place during festive times.

Gram Pradhan, Vijay Singh of Kanthari Gram Panchayat told TOI that in the morning, the local villagers had raised objections over martyred soldier’s family’s demand to cremate his body on public land and then erect a statue of him. But later, after long hours of talk with SDM, the villagers agreed to respect the family demand.

The 52-year-old Vir Singh was the sole bread earner of his family and had joined the CRPF in 1981. His family stays in a one room home with a tin shed as a roof and he has three children who are still studying. A 22-year daughter (Rajni) who is pursuing MSc and two sons – 18-year-old son (Ramandeep) pursuing BSc and 16-year-old (Sandeep) who just cleared intermediate.

His younger brother Ranjeet is a labourer, while his father Ramsneh is a rickshaw puller in Firozabad.

Shikohabad, Chandra Bhan, he said that they have resolved every matter and the entire district will pay respectful homage to the brave soldier. By the time this report was filed, Vir Singh’s body was yet to arrive at his native home. Zila Panchayat president Vijay Pratap Yadav announced to build grand stone gateway at the entrance of village in the remembrance of slain soldier.