The cremation of Manmeet Alisher, a youth from a Sangrur village who was burnt alive last week in Australia where he worked as a bus driver, witnessed ugly scenes when local AAP MP Bhagwant Mann was asked by Manmeet’s relatives to leave their residence where he had gone to pay condolences.
Manmeet’s body reached India Thursday evening and the cremation was held on Friday. AAP has claimed Manmeet was one of their volunteers in Australia. His elder brother Amit Alisher is Youth Akali Dal general secretary for Malwa Zone-2.
When Manmeet’s body reached Delhi Thursday, AAP overseas in-charge Kumar Vishwas, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Mann and leaders from AAP and SAD were present at the airport. On Friday, Mann and his supporters reached Manmeet’s home to pay condolences. Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Punjab’s Finance Minister Punjab Parminder Dhindsa and other SAD leaders were already present. AAP leader HS Phoolka was there too.
Trouble began when Manmeet’s sisters were told to go inside instead of sitting near the body as they were crying. Mann insisted they should see their brother’s face. This irked a few of Manmeet’s relatives and the SAD leaders present there. Manmeet’s uncle Tarsem Chand asked Mann to leave the house as the family wanted to complete the rituals before taking the body for cremation. Mann insisted on sitting near the body for some more time, but was forced to leave.
As Chand was showing Mann out, the AAP MP lost balance and fell to the ground. He then got into his vehicle and sped off to the cremation ground. He left only after attending the cremation. Later, the MP said he himself moved out of the house and went to the cremation ground. “One should not politicise every incident. It is really sad to do politics even over death of a person. Manmeet was my friend and I had communication with him a number of times. I am in shock over his death. I had approached Union Minister Sushma Swaraj to intervene and inquire about Manmeet’s death and also to bring back his body at the earliest.”