Ex-soldier kills self over OROP; Rahul, Kejri flay Govt

The alleged suicide by an ex-serviceman and the detention of his family members by the police in Delhi heated up politics on Wednesday, with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal courting arrest. The Bharatiya Janata party reacted sharply to the protests by Gandhi and Kejriwal.

Gandhi was detained at New Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital as sought to meet the family members of former soldier Ram Kishan Grewal, who allegedly committed suicide a day earlier on the issue of one rank-one pension (OROP), and taken to Mandir Marg police station. He was detained for over an hour.

Grewal, who hailed from Haryana’s Bhiwani district, allegedly killed himself by consuming poison on the lawns behind a government building in Janpath. He was an active campaigner for OROP.

The workers of both the Congress and the AAP protested in the streets of the national Capital.

Kejriwal, who also jumped into the fray, complained in a tweet that he was held by cops and didn’t know where they were taking him. “My vehicle surrounded by police. Not allowing me to leave,” he tweeted from outside the Lady Hardinge Hospital which had conducted the autopsy of Grewal.

The AAP leader told journalists at the site that “Modi Raj” was not permitting a chief minister to meet the family of a soldier who was dead. “Spoke to his [Grewal’s] son just now. He said he was manhandled by police. They have been detained in CP [Connaught Place] police station. Am going there now to meet family,” Kejriwal said in another tweet.

The BJP was scathing in its attack on the Congress and the AAP. “What Rahul Gandhi and Kejriwal are doing is nothing but politics over death. It seems they keep looking for doing politics wherever such deaths occur,” BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said in a statement.