Five-year-old Gurparkash Singh, son of slain CRPF head constable Jaimal Singh, is slowly coming to terms with reality, said his wife Sukhjit Kaur during the bhog ceremony held in his honour at a local gurdwara at his native village, Ghaloti Khurd, in Kot Isey Khan of Moga Saturday. Singh was driving the vehicle blown up by terrorists at Pulwama leaving at least 40 men dead on February 14.
Earlier, he was saying that his father is in Jammu on duty and injured, but now he narrates the entire incident, said Kaur.
“He is too small to understand things, but now he has accepted that his father is no more. After listening to people around, television news and some photos on WhatsApp, he says that his father’s vehicle met with an accident, there was a big blast and ‘papa got badly injured’. He can’t come back now. He tells me and his grandparents not to cry. He tells us that papa is now with Babaji (Guru Nanak Dev), so we should not cry. Someone showed him the last photograph of his father. He refuses to see that and says ‘this is not my father’. He was very handsome,” said Kaur.
On Saturday, thousands, including some political leaders, gathered at the village gurdwara to pay last tributes to him.
Punjab Power, New and Renewable Energy Sources Minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar handed over a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to the family, a part of Rs 12 lakh ex-gratia announced by the state government.
Kangar said that while there can be no monetary value of a “soldier’s sacrifice” and no amount can actually compensate it, the government will release the remaining Rs 7 lakh within a week so that the family doesn’t face any financial issue.
“He has given his life for this country. No amount can compensate it, but we will release the pending amount soon. It will be a time bound procedure and remaining amount will be released within a week,” said Kangar.
On Friday, Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi had visited the family and handed over Rs 2 lakh, which he said was his personal contribution to help the family.
During the bhog ceremony on Saturday, the family was also given Rs 1 lakh sent by the NRIs from the village. A Delhi-based hotelier, Rajinder Aggarwal, who especially came to attend the bhog, announced a lifetime aid of Rs 10,000 a month for Singh’s old parents. “Till I am alive, his parents will be getting Rs 10,000 every month for their routine expenses. I wanted to sponsor Gurparkash’s education, but the CRPF is already taking care of it,” said Aggarwal.
Kaur said that soon she will move to Chandigarh where Gurparkash will be admitted to a school as his father dreamt of. “CRPF has committed to take care of all educational expense of our son. They are also giving Rs 3 lakh each for my mother-in-law and father-in-law, but we are yet to receive them,” she said.
Kaur further said that she wants the government to provide her a small plot where she can have a permanent residence.
“Till now we were living at CRPF quarters in Jalandhar. I also plan to move my in-laws to Chandigarh with us. They have a home here in Moga, but government should provide us with a plot where I can build a house. My husband was working hard to have a home of our own,” she added.
Others who attended the bhog ceremony included Faridkot AAP MP Sadhu Singh, local Congress MLA Sukhjit Singh Kaka Lohgarh, Moga MLA Harjot Kamal, Baghapurana MLA Darshan Singh Brar, former BJP state president Kamal Sharma and former SAD minister Tota Singh.