The family members of slain Lance Naik Hemraj, who was decapitated by the Pakistani Army regulars at the Line of Control (LoC), including his wife Dharamwati on Thursday failed to meet Chief of Army Staff, General Bikram Singh despite turning up at the Union Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the South Block.
The family failed to get an audience since the Army Chief was not present at the HQ for most of the day.
So was his deputy Lt Gen Sri Krishna Singh, who attended a meeting of a Parliamentary Committee on defence. Also, the slain soldier’s kin could not meet the Adjutant General, who was on a day’s leave for personal reasons.
Since all the senior officers were unavailable, Hemraj’s wife and others were forced to spent the whole day at the South Block reception area.
The aggrieved family is seeking the General’s intervention to ensure that the promises made by the authorities at the time of Hemraj’s death are honoured.
Dharamwati, her child and relatives and friends from their native Khairair village near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh reached the South Block in the afternoon. The visit, in fact, took the Army headquarters completely by surprise.
According to an elderly member of the group, they had come here to meet the Army Chief as the authorities’ promise to provide a gas agency, land and employment to Hemraj’s two brothers had not materialised.
He also said that they were here to meet the General since he had asked them to personally call on him if they had any grievances when he had visited their village in January to condole the soldier’s death.
Meanwhile, a senior Army officer explained that the family had not intimated the Army Headquarters of their intention to meet the Army Chief or of their intention to visit the South Block.
He also noted that all the dues -- over `60 lakh -- which were to be paid to the family by the Army had been handed over to them, apart from providing the woman and her kid the last drawn salary of Hemraj till the time he would have retired in the normal course of service.
Earlier, the aggrieved family had undertaken a weeklong protest in their native Khairair village near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh soon after Hemraj’s beheading, following which General Bikram Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had visited them to express their condolences. Besides, they had promised all assistance to the bereaved kin.