NEW DELHI: By locking the gates of the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on Wednesday morning, Delhi Police may have played a bit too overzealous. Trying to prevent Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia from meeting the family of dead ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal, it converted what would have been a five-minute photo-op into material for a full-fledged, day-long political protest by the Congress top rung.
Delhi Police comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Hence fulsome blame was heaped on the Centre. Especially since Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia too were detained by the police of the state they are supposed to be ruling. While Sisodia was picked up by the Delhi cops for the same reason as Rahul — for trying to meet the Grewal family, Kejriwal was detained for trying to reach the Lady Hardinge Hospital to monitor the suicide autopsy, which strangely remained pending till late in the evening, a day after the death.
Worse still, to counter the political fallout of Grewal’s suicide, the Ministry of Defence resorted to source-based leaks to suggest Grewal had been one of the recipients of the revised OROP but he had received a “lesser amount due to an error in calculation’’.
Rahul, Scindia and Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad were arrested and detained not once but twice. So was the son of the dead ex-subedar’s son — detained and roughed up in custody to stop him from meeting Opposition leaders. Rahul and Scindia were released quite late in the evening after being shunted from one police station to another in a bus to avoid the mob of Congress workers. TV footage of a news channel showed Scindia being beaten up by the police in the bus.
Rahul was in a position to lecture the Centre that it should apologise to the deceased ex-serviceman’s family “for making them suffer”.
And Sisodia asked, “What could be worse than arresting an ex-serviceman’s son the day after his father committed suicide, just because he got in touch with political parties?’’
Congress’ Randeep Surjewala claimed Rahul and Scindia had reached the RML hospital after the Subedar’s family sent him a message requesting him to raise the OROP issue.
The Congress scion will visit Bhiwani in Haryana to attend the funeral of the ex-serviceman who allegedly killed himself in the capital.