Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar finally paid a visit to late Naval officer Kiran Shekhawat’s family on Saturday after cancelling it twice earlier at the last minute.
However, the family of the lieutenant who died in a Dornier crash off Goa coast on March 24 was again left seething. Till 11 am, says Shekhawat’s father-in-law Shrichand Chhoker, they had no clue the CM was coming. They were finally told three hours before his arrival, leaving them flustered.
Just a day earlier, in midst of holding the eleventh day ceremony to mark Shekhawat’s death, her family had made arrangements and kept waiting in vain for Khattar. The entire Nuh administration had also spent the day in wait.
“What have we done to deserve this treatment? The CM cancelled his visit twice, after we made all the arrangements for him. And now he has come today when the visit was not planned! This is how you treat martyrs of your state?” said Chokker.
He added that the CM appeared to have come only under “pressure”.
Khattar spent about half-an-hour with the family, telling them everyone in Haryana was proud of Shekhawat. He promised that the government would build a college in Nuh in her name as well as name a 5-km road after her.
As Chokker pointed out, there was no assurance as to when the work would begin. “That’s the least he can do,” the father-in-law said. The family was not promised any other help or compensation.
Shekhawat’s mother-in-law Sunita Devi said, “I want to see how many Haryana ministers who talk of ‘Beti bachao beti padhao (Save daughters, educate daughters)’ have the courage to send their daughters and daughters-in-law to serve in the Armed Forces.”
Speaking to the media, Khattar said, “I was supposed to come yesterday but I had some important work in Chandigarh. I apologised to the family and told them I would visit immediately.” Earlier, on April 6, he couldn’t come to bad weather, he added.