OROP issue: Ex-serviceman commits suicide; son says just Rs 5,000 extra was subedar’s demand

According to his family and associates, all Grewal wanted was Rs 5,000 more as pension after having served the Territorial Army for about six years and the Defence Security Corps (DSC) for 24 years.

Written by Aranya Shankar | Bhiwani | Updated: November 3, 2016 12:59 pm
OROP, orop issue, orop suicide, suicide, Ex-serviceman suicide, sarpanch suicide, Ex-serviceman OROP suicide, sarpanch OROP suicide, india news, indian express, indian express news 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

A BRAVE man, a go-gettter, the first Dalit sarpanch of his panchayat in Haryana. On Wednesday evening, as family and friends described Ram Kishan Grewal, the ex-serviceman who committed suicide in Delhi, allegedly over the One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue, there was shock and disbelief at his village in Haryana’s Bhiwani that a “sensible man” could take such a drastic step.

WATCH VIDEO: OROP Suicide: BJP & Congress Engage In War Of Words Over Rahul Gandhi’s Detention

According to his family and associates, all Grewal wanted was Rs 5,000 more as pension after having served the Territorial Army for about six years and the Defence Security Corps (DSC) for 24 years. His son Jaswant said that Grewal, a subedar, drew a pension of Rs 24,999 per month after retiring from the DSC in 2004. “He would have been entitled to Rs 30,000 a month had OROP been implemented in full,” he said in Delhi.

Grewal wanted his pension to be increased according to the sixth and seventh pay commissions along with arrears due with the overall implementation of OROP, said the family. Another ex-serviceman, Subedar Prithvi Singh, who also retired the same year as Grewal, said, “We would have all been paid the same pension of Rs 30,000 if it had been done correctly.”

Inside the Grewal residence at Bamla village, most of his 16-member joint family were huddled in a small room, watching news updates on TV. As a channel played an audio clip, purportedly of Grewal’s last conversation with one of his sons, the family broke down.

“We have been trying to contact our family members in Delhi but in vain. They are being beaten and put in lock-up, while my husband’s body lies somewhere,” said Kitaab Kaur, Grewal’s wife, huddled in the verandah, unable to comprehend that her husband was no more.

Grewal also left behind five sons — two of them studying in college — and two daughters. Mourners gathered at his residence said Grewal “was no ordinary man, who could commit suicide for a cause he so strongly fought for” and who changed the face of his village as a sarpanch when elected in 2005 shortly after his retirement.

Bamla, with a population of around 10,000 people, comes under two panchayats. And, Grewal is the only Dalit to have been elected as sarpanch in his panchayat, and that too with a record margin of 1,200 votes. “He was so popular that people lifted him on their shoulders and took him around the village when he won. Two sacks of sweets were distributed and everyone celebrated by bursting crackers. Now he’s no more. I hope the government considers him a martyr because he didn’t die for himself; he died for the cause,” said Kaur.

Time and again, she said, she feels guilty for not having been at home when Grewal called her on Tuesday night allegedly before consuming poison. “He called one of my sons and said ‘let me talk to your mother’. But I wasn’t at home,” she said.

Other residents said Grewal undertook development work for the entire village. “Every day, he would leave for work in the morning and come back only at night. He constructed schools for girls and boys, put up water pipelines when Bamla was going through a water crisis, improved roads and put streetlights in each lane,” says Balbir Singh Grewal, RLD MLA from Bhiwani.

According to his family, Grewal was awarded the ‘Nirmal Gram Puruskar’ by the then President Pratibha Patil in 2008 for his work. Bamla comprises many current and ex-servicemen from different ranks, according to the residents. “But it’s saddening that farmers and soldiers are being forced to commit suicide because there is no one to represent them or hear their voice in this government,” says Balbir Grewal.

Kaur says she has only one demand from the government now. “Ex-servicemen should be treated with respect; they should be considered martyrs. My husband has not sacrificed his life for himself but for the country and I want that to be recognised,” she says.

Grewal’s brother-in-law Jaibir said, “I was told that he was serious and I should reach the village. It was when I came here that I got to know that he had died. It was a shock. He was known to be a very courageous person. It is hard to imagine that he could take such a step.”
(With ENS/Chandigarh)

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  1. O
    Onkar Singh
    Nov 3, 2016 at 7:44 am
    That Modi has lied to country that he has implemented OROP is controverted by the statement of the jawans posted in this news itself.And the ex- servicemen have all along said it during their Dharna at Jantar Mantra.Next,the anomalies in the pay scale of Armed Forces vis-a-vis the IAS officer has been glaringly exposed when a Officer posted in Siachen is getting Rs.37000/- less than a IASofficer posted in Gauhati(reported in one of Frontline's issues in between September and October).Next,the Armed Forces Chiefs had to point out the anomalies in pay scale.Next issue is a still dirtier one: immediately after the Uri incident,the government of Modi,slyly and cunningly reduced the pension of incapacitated soldiers.What a NOBLE way of stabbing the BACK OF THE SOLDIERS who allow Modi to have A SOUND SLEEP!!! Lastly but not the least,is the down grading the Rank of the Armed Forces vis-a-vis the IAS officer!!! Modi and his RSS bogey thump their chests and proudly claim that they are the true Patriots and Nationalists,if so, is this how you treat your soldiers? It's not a question of Rs.5000/-,its a question of the pride of a soldier,who had give up his life so that others like him don't have to suffer the ignominy and insult of these pseudo nationalists like Modi and his likes.By giving up his life he has tried to wake up the conscience of the Deshbhakt PM who goes on Photoshoping expeditions every Diwali,to draw the attention of his countrymen for his FAILURES on all the PROMISES he made during his election-campaign.If he has an iota of shame he should honour this soldier's death by removing the anomalies in their pay scales as well as the welfare schemes.If Modi's party can post party posters with the photos of Jawans,then what is stopping Modi from giving in to the wants of the soldiers?In the case of the lives and interests of the soldiers,his JUMLEYBAZI shows him in his true colors,that he promises one thing and he does just the opposite---- hence he is a liar not to be trusted!!!! Jawano this Modi and his cohorts are students of the likes of Godse's and Savarkar.Hence they don't go near Bhagat Singhs nor Netaji Shubhas Chandra Boses.They can't take lives of people but can't sacrifice anything not even their selfish goals for the good of the countrymen.Dont believe in them.JAI JAWAN !!! JAI HIND !!!
    1. G
      Nov 3, 2016 at 3:11 am
      If it is really only 5000, then there is something seriously mysterious. Needs to be probed. Look at all the politicians running to make some political gains. They will stoop to any level for the sake of votes. To me Rahul, kejerival, Derick oberion are real villains of India.
      1. A
        A Chakrabarti
        Nov 3, 2016 at 1:39 am
        From all accounts it is gathered the dead soldiers was a courageous man. A courageous man committed suicide for an extra 5000,- for all of his ranks!!! Resulting the pension to be halved for the survivor!!!! Not believable. Needs to be thoroughly probed.
        1. A
          Anurag Srivastava
          Nov 3, 2016 at 9:25 am
          The most corrupt government department of the country, as per CVC, is Military Engineering Service (MES) of the Armed Forces. It is also jokingly called Money Earning Service. The wives of the Armed Forces blatantly use Army vehicles for their marketing and kitty parties. The senior officials of the Army continue to be feudal. The low level army employees continue to tie their shoe lases. No body raises an eyebrow against it. It is not that all the Civilian Employees of the Government universally do not work. It is also not true that the Civilian employees do not suffer leading to suicide.
          1. R
            Nov 3, 2016 at 9:07 am
            Your politicians gave a very big lecture on Intolerance, do not you feel that the way you behaved falls under Intolerance????
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