Vet­eran sui­cide over OROP turns into po­lit­i­cal slugfest

IN NEW DELHI Rahul and Ke­jri­wal de­tained af­ter visit to hos­pi­tal, at­tack govt

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Ananya Bhard­waj let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

A 70-year-old army vet­eran seek­ing uni­form pensions for mil­i­tary per­son­nel died on Wed­nes­day af­ter con­sum­ing poi­son, spark­ing an ugly po­lit­i­cal brawl that ap­peared set to reignite a de­bate over the Modi gov­ern­ment’s con­tro­ver­sial re­ti­ral pol­icy for sol­diers.

Chaotic scenes broke out out­side the Ram Manohar Lo­hia hos­pi­tal as po­lice stopped top op­po­si­tion politi­cians from meet­ing the fam­ily of the de­ceased Sube­dar Ram Kis­han Gre­wal, who friends said had un­suc­cess­fully tried to meet de­fence minister Manohar Par­rikar be­fore killing him­self.

But Gre­wal’s death was soon over­shad­owed by po­lit­i­cal the­atre, as Congress lead­ers Rahul Gandhi and Jy­oti­ra­ditya Scin­dia, and Delhi chief minister Arvind Ke­jri­wal and his deputy Man­ish Siso­dia were de­tained by po­lice for protest­ing out­side the hos­pi­tal.

Scenes of pan­de­mo­nium broke out at Mandir Marg po­lice sta­tion, forc­ing po­lice to move Gandhi and Scin­dia around in a bus, first to­wards Par­lia­ment Street po­lice sta­tion and then to­wards Con­naught Place po­lice sta­tion be­fore be­ing fi­nally taken to the po­lice sta­tion at Tilak Marg, fol­lowed for hours by a horde of sup­port­ers protest­ing against the po­lice ac­tion. “A fam­ily that sac­ri­ficed­forthen­ation,whathap­pened to them is wrong,” Gandhi told Congress vice-pres­i­dent in­side a bus near New Delhi’s Tilak Marg po­lice sta­tion. reporters.“The­gov­ern­mentshould at least apol­o­gise to the fam­ily, say what hap­pened to you was wrong.”

RAVI CHOUD­HARY/HT

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