NEW DELHI: A 70-year-old ex-serviceman allegedly committed suicide on Tuesday in the national capital at the lawns behind Jawahar Bhawan over anomalies in the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.
The ex-serviceman identified as Ram Kishen Grewal, who hails from Bamla Village in Haryana’s Bhiwani district, also left a suicide note saying that he is taking his life due to the delay in meeting the demands of the army veterans. Five minutes after consuming sulphas tablets, he also called his son Jaswant Grewal at his native place and stated he has committed suicide eating sulphas tablets.
He came to Delhi on Monday along with his four friends – Matu Ram, Sube Singh, Prithvi Singh and Rajkumar – telling at his family members that they are going to Delhi to support protest for OROP. On Tuesday afternoon at between 12 noon and 12: 30 pm , they went to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s residence in a bid to meet them and give a one page memorandum but as they were not having any prior appointments, they were asked to seek an appointment and meet the them, police said.
However, according to records, Grewel did not seek appointment with Defence Minister.
They then planned to join other ex-servicemen protesting at Jantar Mantar and walked till Jawahar Bhawan, which houses the Ministry of External Affairs, and sat in the lawns behind it. There two of his friends left to buy something to eat and in the meantime, Grewal sitting in lawns committed consumed sulphas tablets. Grewal scribbled three lines, “I, for my country, for my mother land and for my country’s army sacrificing my life.” He scribbled on the single page memorandum. Grewal writes in the memorandum that as per the announcements made by the government they are unable to get benefits of OROP. In three points memorandum, he says, “We are unable to get increased amount of sixth and seventh pay commission.”
“I served in 105 infantry battalion in Rajputana Rifles for six years and 11 days and there after got discharged and joined in Defence Security Crops. There I served for 30 years, nine months and 26 days. Like me thousands of armymen have served in both the places but they have not yet got benefits of OROP,” he stated. In last, he requests to fulfill the anomalies in OROP scheme.
He then called his son, the deceased tells his kin the reason why he takes the extreme steps. Both father-son duo breaks down after the confrontational conversation. “I have consumed poison. okay,” Grewal said following which his son stated, “What you have done.” He replied, “You leave all these thing, I am sitting at India gate in a park and behind Jawahar Bhawan. I have consumed poison. Injustice is happening with me. Injustice is happening with our jawans, our jawans did not get justice.”
He continues, “Now, it’s up to God.”
The his son persistently asked him hi how much tablets he has consumed won which he replied three to four and ask him to connect the phone with his wife Chitab Kaur. Both son and father breaks down, thereafter Grewal said, "I am a man of principles. I am sacrificing my life for my family, nation."
In the meantime, his friend Prithvi Singh made a call at police control room about it around 1: 15 pm. The police reached immediately at the spot and rushed him at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where he was declared dead during medical treatment. “We informed his family members who arrayed arrived by 11 pm,” said a senior police officer.
The officer said that Grewal financial conditions were not good. “Further inquest proceeding has been initiated and post mortem was carried out at Lady Hardinge Medical College,” the officer said. He further stated that they have found a suicide note, a recorded conversation between the deceased and his son and bottle of suplas tablets.
The police is now verifying with his deceased’s friends where they stayed on entire Monday and when what all they did on Tuesday before Grewal consumed poison. “We are also trying to find out from where he procured the sulphas tablets,” the officer said.
The police also said that they are also taking the statements of Grewal’s friends and close associates to find out whether any one motivated him to commit suicide.