An ex-serviceman allegedly committed suicide over the issue of One Rank One Pension scheme, triggering a political row with Rahul Gandhi and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia rushing to hospital where they were prevented from seeing the body.
The 70-year-old ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal from Haryana’s Bhiwani district ended his life yesterday by consuming poison on the lawns behind a government building in Janpath, the central area of the capital.
Grewal, who was a familiar face of OROP agitation, left behind a suicide note, his son said.
Police said he along with three of his companions had come to the city apparently to submit a memorandum to the Defence Ministry over the issue of OROP. However, Defence Ministry sources said as per records, no request for appointment with Parrikar was made.
Congress and AAP launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the OROP issue.
Rahul was not allowed to enter Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where Grewal’s body is kept while Sisodia was detained outside the hospital.
“I urge the PM once again: soldiers should not have to struggle to claim what is their due. OROP must be implemented in a meaningful way! My heartfelt condolences to the family of Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal. Extremely sad to learn of his death,” he tweeted.
I urge the PM once again: soldiers should not have to struggle to claim what is their due.OROP must be implemented in a meaningful way!
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) November 2, 2016
When he was not allowed to meet the family of the deceased, Rahul wondered whether democracy works in this fashion.
Slamming the Prime Minister and BJP on OROP, the Delhi chief minister said Modi was “lying” when he said OROP was implemented and termed it as a “major deceit” with the veterans.
“He is lying to the entire country. If it was implemneted then why Ram Kishan had to commit suicide? The extent of the deceit of the BJP government over the issue, don’t think it has happened before. The army is being deceived and misused for political gains. His martyrdom should not go in vain,” the Delhi chief minister said.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said he was saddened over the death of Grewal.
“Saddened by the death of subedar Ram Kishen Grewal. I express my heartfelt condolences. I have asked officials to provide me with details,” Parrikar said in a tweet.
Saddened by the death of Subdr. Ram Kishan Grewal. I express my heartfelt condolences. I have asked for officials to provide me details.
— Manohar Parrikar (@manoharparrikar) November 2, 2016
(With inputs from PTI)