New Delhi: Union Minister V K Singh on Thursday disputed the allegation that army veteran Ram Kishan Grewal committed suicide due to his grievance over Orop. He also said the deceased soldier was a Congress worker, who had won Panchayat election on ticket of that party.
Singh, a former army chief, said Grewal's grievance was with the bank and the not the government. "If he had come to us and if we had not resolved his issue, then it would have been our mistake. The reason of his death is not related to Orop. He was getting a pension of Rs 22,000. His issue was with the bank... the bank had asked him to produce some papers. His concern was not related to orop," Singh said.
The Union Minister also rejected reports about Grewal being a prominent face of the 'One Rank-One Pension' agitation, saying ex-servicemen protesting at Jantar Mantar for its implementation had yesterday said they had seen the former armyman at the protest venue for the first time before he committed suicide.
"He (Grewal) was a Congress worker. He became sarpanch on Congress' ticket. However, he was our soldier. I feel sad over his death," the minister of state for external affairs said. The minister had landed himself in controversy on Wednesday when he said the "mental state" of Grewal needed to be probed before drawing conclusions about his extreme action.
"He has committed suicide. No one knows the reason behind it. OROP is being shown as the reason. What his mental state was we do not know. Let it be probed first. OROP should be kept above politics," Singh told reporters, while reacting to the incident which led to high-voltage protests in New Delhi on Wednesday.
He went on to state that the Centre had accepted the long-pending demands of the agitating veterans and there was no need to get into what one was saying for "4 paisa."
About Grewal ending his life by consuming poison, Singh said," What could be the reason behind someone consuming sulphas. Who gave him sulphas? And there is an audio which is being circulated in the media...
"Can anyone talk like this after consuming suplhas. Or his son, to whom he said 'I have consumed three tablets of sulphas' will listen to his father calmly. I dont wan't to politicise the issue," Singh said.