Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh on Thursday found himself in a new controversy after he hinted at a conspiracy behind the suicide of ex-serviceman Subedar Ram Kishan Grewal and termed him a Congress worker. Whereas, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday said “Grewal can’t be a martyr”.
A day after Singh triggered a controversy with his demand for probe into the “mental state” of the ex-serviceman, who committed alleged suicide over OROP, the MoS said, Grewal was a Congress worker and contested Sarpanch election on Congress ticket.
The Minister of State for External Affairs raised questions over how Grewal was able to procure Sulfas tablets and claimed that his issue was with the bank and not with OROP. “His issue was with the bank and not with OROP. Also, how did he procure Sulpha tablets and who gave it to him?” said Singh. If Grewal had reached out to us and didn’t get help, then it was our fault, Singh added.
Every month, Mr Grewal was receiving about Rs. 3,000 less than what he was entitled to after OROP was cleared. He was also owed arrears. The Defence Ministry has said that the gaps were created by the bank that was to disperse his payment.
“The bank had asked him to show paperwork and that they would rectify the issue. Had he produced the paperwork, all his backlog would have been cleared,” said General (retd) VK Singh, adding that it’s imperative to determine whether the Subedar was assisted or egged on in killing himself. “Who gave him the sulphas (poison)?” he asked, adding that a phone conversation between Mr Grewal and his son that was recorded and is being treated as an audio version of a suicide note is suspect. On tape, the former soldier tells his son “I have consumed poison.”
The minister, however, also maintained, “If he had reached out to us and didn’t get help, then it was our fault”.
Government sources said the ministry had not received any request for appointment with the deceased nor did his letter say any such thing.
However, Speaking to media persons outside Indradhanush Auditorium on the occasion of Swarna Jayanti celebrations, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar said no one should politicise Ram Kishan’s suicide.
He said no soldier would ever commit suicide. He said Ram Kishan committed suicide because of discrepancies in his bank account.