Union Minister General (Retd) VK Singh on Monday courted yet another controversy with his insensitive comments on the 38 Indians, who were killed in Iraq.
Speaking to reporters in Amritsar, where he arrived in a special plane with the mortal remains of 38 Indians from Iraq, Singh lashed out at a reporter, who asked if the minister would announce financial compensation for the grieving families.
A visibly angry Singh asked the reporter about the identity of his organisation before giving him a dressing down saying that ‘This is not like distributing biscuits.’ He said, “Yeh biscuit baantne wala kaam nahi hai, ye aadmiyon ki zindagi ka sawal hai, aa gayi baat samajh mein? Main abhi elaan kahan se karoon? Jeb mein koi pitaara thodi rakha hua hai. (This is not like distributing biscuits. This is about the lives of human being. Did you get it? How do I make an announcement now? I don’t carry a money full of box in my pocket.”
On being asked if his government would consider providing jobs to the families of those killed by the IS in Iraq, Singh lost his cool once again saying ‘This is not a game of football.’
“This is not like distributing biscuits”, says minister VK Singh, asked about compensation for families of Indians killed in Iraq pic.twitter.com/u2g1jHwQr6
— NDTV (@ndtv) April 2, 2018
The Congress was quick to pounce on the minister, who is also a former army chief. The party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “39 Indians were killed in Mosul, Iraq as Modi Govt continuously misled the families & Nation. Min., V.K.Singh is now rubbing ‘salt on the wounds’ by rubbishing the demands for compensation for the families as akin to demand for ‘biscuits’.
Heartless, Shameful & Reprehensible! (sic)”
39 Indians were killed in Mosul, Iraq as Modi Govt continuously misled the families & Nation.
Min., V.K.Singh is now rubbing ‘salt on the wounds’ by rubbishing the demands for compensation for the families as akin to demand for ‘biscuits’.
Heartless, Shameful & Reprehensible! pic.twitter.com/52lxJ25T61
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) April 2, 2018
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj last month had revealed that all 39 Indians, kidnapped by the IS in Iraq’s Mosul, had been killed. She had said that Singh will fly to Iraq to bring their mortals remains back to India. Singh arrived with 38 coffins since the DNA tests for the 39th India remained inconclusive.
This is not the first time Singh has stirred a controversy with his foot-in-mouth syndrome. A serial offender that he is, in November 2016, Singh had made an outrageous comment by questioning the mental condition of the soldier, who was forced to commit suicide on the issue of One Rank One Pension.
In October 2015, the retired army general had caused massive controversy with his insensitive statement making light of the gruesome murder of two Dalit kids in Haryana. He had implied that the burning of Dalit kids in Haryana was as small an incident as hitting a dog with stones. “Agar koi kutte ko patthar maar de to sarkaar zimmedaar nahi hai (government can’t be responsible if someone hits a dog with stones),” he was quoted by several TV channels.
Singh’s ‘presstitute’ remarks against a section of the Indian media in the past too had led to a national outrage. In early 2016, the controversial former general, had had asked media to go and beat up filmmaker Karan Johar instead of chasing him for reaction on his intolerance comments.