“I am a man of principles. I am laying down my life for my jawans, my country and my motherland” — These were the last words of former armyman Ram Kishan Grewal to his son, who he called moments after consuming poison on Tuesday.
Shocked, his son, Pradeep, asked him what prompted him to take the extreme step. “I did this because we are being cheated. We haven’t got justice. Subedar Pratik is with me. Human rights activist Raj Kumar is also here. I could not bear the injustice meted out to the jawans. I had to fight but now all should be taken care of by the jawans,” he said.
An audio of the conversation has been circulated via social media.
Around 10 to 12 protestors had just sat down to have some food on their way back to Jantar Mantar after being denied permission to meet the Defence Minister when they spotted Grewal (70), lying unconscious. An eyewitness rushed to see what happened and found some ‘Salfas tablets’ in his hand and a note stating, “I am sacrificing my life for my country, motherland and armymen”.
Pradeep told The Indian Express, “My father is a martyr. He has sacrificed his life for the welfare of other ex-servicemen.”
His friend and an ex-serviceman retired subedar Prithivi Singh said he was with Grewal when they went to meet the minister. He also said they also went to sleep at the bungalow of the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan but were denied permission.
Police arrived immediately and took Grewal to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, where he died a few hours later. His family was informed about the incident. He might have written the note moments before consuming poison.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal has confirmed that some Sulfas tablets were recovered from his possession and added that his body has been kept at Lady Hardinge Hospital for post-mortem. “An inquiry has been started into the incident,” he said.
Narwal said all aspects related to the case will be verified.
Tuesday, 1.09 pm: Grewal consumed poison near Jawahar Bhawan in Delhi Lutyens Zone. He dies at 5.30 pm at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.
Wednesday, 11 am: AAP MLA Commando Surender Singh reaches RML hospital.
1 pm: Special Commissioner of Police M K Meena, DCP Jatin Narwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Kumar Gyanesh arrive, try to convince AAP leaders and family members to leave the premises.
1.30 pm: Deputy CM Manish Sisodia reaches hospital, starts talking to Grewal’s son. Two policemen request Sisodia to leave. More officers join them and shove Sisodia and Singh inside a police bus, take them to Parliament Street Police station.
2.15 pm: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi arrives at RML. He tries to enter but police do not let him in.
2.30 pm: Surjewal, AAP MLA Kiran Chaudhary and Grewal’s family members taken to Mandir Marg police station, later shifted to Connaught Place police station; Gandhi released.
3 pm: CM Arvind Kejriwal reaches Lady Hardinge Hospital. Police barricade entry. CM hears family is detained at Connaught Place police station. He tries to leave but police do not let him go.
5 pm: Gandhi, along with other senior leaders, march towards Connaught Place. They are detained and taken to Tilak Marg police station.
7.15 pm: CM taken to R K Puram police station, kept till late evening.
8.30 pm: All leaders detained at various police stations released except Kejriwal.