It began at 9 am and they kept coming through the day. Political leaders, chief ministers — serving and former — state ministers and Members of Parliament made a beeline for ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal’s home in Bamla village of Haryana on Thursday, offering condolences and compensation to his grieving family.
Grewal, who committed suicide in Delhi, allegedly over the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue, triggered a political storm on Wednesday after police detained several leaders, including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, when they tried to meet his family at a Delhi hospital. The cremation was held in his village on Thursday.
While Haryana Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar and Mahendragarh-Bhiwani MP Dharambir Singh (BJP) announced Rs 10 lakh and a government job for Grewal’s family, Kejriwal announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore.
Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda was among the first to arrive at 9 am, accompanied by his son Deepender. Minutes later, other Congress leaders including former Bhiwani MP Shruti Choudhary, Kuldeep Bishnoi and Randeep Singh Surjewala joined them, and, after jostling for space on a patch of grass outside Grewal’s house, sat cross-legged next to the body.
They later met Grewal’s sons, offered their condolences, and left.
An hour later, Dharambir Singh and Krishan Lal Pawar arrived, and immediately whisked away Grewal’s family for a closed door meeting. While leaving the village, Singh announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh and a government job for the family. Asked about the police crackdown on Opposition leaders on Wednesday, he said, “I can’t comment on what happened in Delhi, but our government is with the family.”
Just as the BJP leaders left the village at 10:40 am, an advance team of the Special Protection Group (SPG) entered the village to oversee security before Rahul’s arrival. Rahul stayed away from the media and sat with Grewal’s sons for a few minutes, before the family left for the cremation grounds at 10:55 am.
A little after noon, came Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party. “Grewal is a martyr and Delhi government will give Rs 1 crore to the victim,” said Kejriwal.
While speaking to reporters, Kejriwal insisted that Grewal’s son, Dilawar, should stay by his side. Asked about the police action, Kejriwal turned the question over to Dilawar, who said, “I was manhandled and beaten up by the Delhi Police when I went to see my father’s body.”