SONIPAT: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Friday that his government will amend a rule on giving ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore to the kin of martyred security personnel to include those who have settled in the national capital after joining service.
Kejriwal visited the native village of BSF jawan Narender Singh, who was brutally killed by Pakistani troopers along the international border (IB) near Jammu, and attacked the Modi government, asking what was stopping it from giving a befitting reply to Pakistan despite the neighbour's repeated misadventures.
He told reporters that under the present policy, an ex-gratia of Rs one crore and a job is given to the next of kin provided the martyr's permanent address at the time of joining service was in Delhi.
"We are holding a meeting of the Delhi cabinet on Tuesday in which we are going to change this rule. There is a lacuna in this rule as several families (martyrs/families) have settled in Delhi later. So, we will change this rule and bring changes in a manner so that we are able to include sacrifices made by martyrs like Narender and are able to provide this ex-gratia grant and a job to the next of kin of Narender ji," he said.
He said that Narender had joined the force in 1988 and at that time his permanent address mentioned was of Haryana.
"... On Tuesday, in the cabinet, we will change this rule," he said, referring to his government's move to include martyrs who laid down their lives on the borders to safeguard their nation, but belong to other places and have settled in Delhi later on.
Kejriwal said that in Narender's case, he has come to know that for the last 8-10 years, he and his family were residing in Delhi.
The chief minister strongly condemned the brutal killing of the soldier and said there was growing anger in the country over Pakistan's actions.
"We strongly condemn this cowardly act. Pakistan killed him in brutal manner and tortured him before death... There is growing anger not just in this village or Haryana, but across the country for how long will Pakistan keep killing our soldiers like this," he said.
Hitting out at the central government, he asked, "Why is the Centre appearing so helpless. Why is the prime minister not doing anything.
"Before becoming prime minister, he (Narendra Modi) used to say that writing love letters (to Pakistan) won't help. He used to say Pakistan will need to be taught a lesson in its own language. So, why don't you give such a reply?" he asked.
In a jibe at the prime minister for his surprise visit to Pakistan nearly three years back, Kejriwal said, "If writing love letters won't do, will cutting cake on their (the then PM Nawaz Sharif) birthday help. After all, for how long will our soldiers tolerate this. This is not acceptable to the country. We want action, we don't want speeches."
Asked if India should be playing cricket matches against Pakistan, Kejriwal replied, "Playing or not playing won't stop the killing of soldiers at the borders".
Kejriwal said that providing monetary help or job to next of kin of martyrs was in no way going to compensate their loss, but it was a measure to provide some relief to the families.
He voiced the hope that the prime minister "will take steps so as to give a befitting reply to Pakistan".
The mortal remains of BSF Head Constable Narender were cremated with full state honours at his native village Thana Kalan in Haryana's Sonipat district on Thursday.
The 52-year-old BSF jawan is survived by two sons and wife.