Bhiwani: Amid tight security, ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, whose alleged suicide over 'one rank, one pension' triggered a political storm, was on Thursday cremated in his native village in Haryana which was flocked by political leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Grewal's eldest son Dilawar lit the pyre at around noon in the presence of a large number of people who had gathered from nearby areas in Bamla, 20 kms away from here.
The 70-year-old ex-serviceman, who was a former sarpanch of his village, committed suicide by consuming poison at a park in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.
The AAP government in Delhi announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the family of the deceased. The Haryana government also granted Rs 10 lakhs to the ex-serviceman's family.
The incident snowballed into a political row on Wednesday with the Congress Vice President, Kejriwal and other opposition leaders attacking the Modi government on the issue while there was high drama that continued late into the night after police detained and prevented them from entering a hospital in Delhi where Grewal's body was kept.
Tight security arrangements were made on Thursday in view of the events in New Delhi.
Rahul, who travelled by road, spent a few minutes with the grieving family members of Grewal. He had to jostle with the crowd to reach the family members of Grewal as slogans of "Ram Kishan amar rahe" rented the air.
Other Congress leaders including former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Haryana Congress President Ashok Tanwar, Leader of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Kiran Chaudhary, Selja and Kuldip Bishnoi were also present.
Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Randeep Singh Surjewala and TMC's Derek O'Brien also reached the village.
While stating that he did not wish to make any political statements at the funeral, Derek O'Brien said that central minister VK Singh's assertion that a mental check up of the deceased army man was necessary, was 'disgusting'.
Kejriwal, who was detained for four hours by Delhi Police last night from Lady Hardinge Hospital when he tried to meet the kin of ex-serviceman, was also among those present at the cremation of Grewal.
While traveling to the venue, the Delhi CM told reporters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also have visited the deceased's family. He admitted that the Opposition was playing politics over the suicide, but said it was doing so to assure soldiers of their rights.
BJP MPs Rattan Lal Kataria and Dharambir Singh and Haryana minister Krishna Lal Panwar were among those who spent some time with the family members of the deceased and later left the venue.
Police said Grewal along with some other ex-servicemen were in the process of submitting a memorandum to the Defence Ministry over the issue of OROP.
According to his friends, Grewal had been upset over the issue for some time. Grewal had gone to Delhi with three of his friends from Bhiwani in the intervening night of October 31 and November 1. On Tuesday evening, he allegedly consumed poisonous tablets. One of his friends called the police on 100 and the police personnel immediately took him to RML hospital.
Unfortunately, he died after a few hours, police said. In his last phone conversation with his son Pradeep, Grewal said "injustice" is being done with jawans. "I wanted to fight this (OROP) battle...now it is up to the jawans what they do," he said.
Subedar Grewal's suicide has been used by the opposition parties to accuse the Modi government of failing to implement the OROP, an issue which remained pending for about 40 years during the Congress regime.
Grewal is survived by his widow, five sons and two daughters. He served in the Army for six years in the Infantry Battalion and then served the Defence Security Force for 31 years....