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Ex-Soldier Ram Kishan Grewal Cremated; Kejriwal Announces 1 Crore Compensation For Family

03/11/2016 11:24 AM IST | Updated 03/11/2016 4:00 PM IST
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Identity card of 70-year-old ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal who allegedly committed suicide over One Rank, One Pension scheme in New Delhi.

Amid tight security, ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, whose alleged suicide over 'one rank, one pension' triggered a political storm, was today cremated in his native village in Haryana which was flocked by political leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Grewal's eldest son Dilawar lit the pyre at around noon in the presence of a large number of people who had gathered from nearby areas in Bamla, 20 kms away from here.

The 70-year-old ex-serviceman, who was a former sarpanch of his village, committed suicide by consuming poison at a park in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi leaves Mandir Marg Police Station on November 2, 2016 in New Delhi, India.

The incident snowballed into a political row yesterday with the Congress Vice President, Kejriwal and other opposition leaders attacking the Modi government on the issue while there was high drama that continued late into the night after police detained and prevented them from entering a hospital in Delhi where Grewal's body was kept.

Tight security arrangements were made today in view of the events in New Delhi.

Rahul, who travelled by road, spent a few minutes with the grieving family members of Grewal. He had to jostle with the crowd to reach the family members of Grewal as slogans of "Ram Kishan amar rahe" rented the air.

PTI
New Delhi: Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi with party leaders Raj Babbar,Deepender Singh Hooda and Jyotiraditya Scindia being carried in a police bus from Parliament Street Police Station in New Delhi on Wednesday. Gandhi was earlier detained after he tried to meet family members of a retired army soldier who allegedly committed suicide over One Rank, One Pension scheme. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist (PTI11_2_2016_000283B)

Other Congress leaders including former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Haryana Congress President Ashok Tanwar, Leader of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Kiran Chaudhary, Selja and Kuldip Bishnoi werea also present.

Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Randeep Singh Surjewala and TMC's Derek O Brien also reached the village.

Kejriwal, who was detained for four hours by Delhi Police last night from Lady Hardinge Hospital when he tried to meet the kin of ex-serviceman, was also among those present at the cremation of Grewal.

BJP MPs Rattan Lal Kataria and Dharambir Singh and Haryana minister Krishna Lal Panwar were among those who spent some time with the family members of the deceased and later left the venue.

Police said Grewal along with some other ex-servicemen was in the process of submitting a memorandum to the Defence Ministry over the issue of OROP. According to his friends, Grewal had been upset over the issue for some time.

Grewal had gone to Delhi with three of his friends from Bhiwani in the intervening night of October 31 and November 1. On Tuesday evening, he allegedly consumed poisonous tablets. One of his friends called the police at 100 and the police personnel immediately took him to RML hospital.

Unfortunately, he died after a few hours, police said.

In his last phone conversation with his son Pradeep, Grewal said "injustice" is being done with jawans. "I wanted to fight this (OROP) battle...now it is up to the jawans what they do," he said.

Subedar Grewal's suicide has been used by the opposition parties to accuse the Modi government of failing to implement the OROP, an issue which remained pending for about 40 years during the Congress regime.

Grewal is survived by his widow, five sons and two daughters. He served in the Army for six years in the Infantry Battalion and then served the Defence Security Force for 31 years.

PTI
New Delhi: Congress party Vice President Rahul Gandhi being carried in a police bus from Parliament Street Police Station in New Delhi on Wednesday. Gandhi was earlier detained after he tried to meet family members of a retired army soldier who allegedly committed suicide over One Rank, One Pension scheme. PTI Photo by Manvender Vashist (PTI11_2_2016_000276B)

He retired in 2004 after attaining Subedar rank. He became Sarpanch of the village in 2006. One of his sons is Havildar in army and the eldest son is in Haryana police.

Kejriwal announced a compensation of Rs one crore for the family of Grewal.

"I want the people to take his fight forward. We will fight till our last breath and snatch OROP from the Centre. Our soldiers deserve what is their due," Kejriwal told reporters here.

On allegations that AAP was politicising the issue, Kejriwal said, "Yes, we are doing politics. We are doing politics to grant our soldiers their rights while Modiji is doing politics to take those rights away."

Under the AAP government's compensation policy, the families of martyrs who are residents of Delhi are given Rs one crore.

PTI
New Delhi: **File** Identity card of 70-year-old ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal who allegedly committed suicide over One Rank, One Pension scheme in New Delhi.PTI Photo(PTI11_2_2016_000288B)

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