Bihar CM Nitish Kumar apologises for minister`s remark, salutes martyrs` sacrifice

Bihar’s Panchayati Raj Minister Bhim Singh has apologised for his outrageous remark that ‘people join the forces only to die’.

Last Updated: Aug 08, 2013, 15:09 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Patna: Under fire over the absence of state ministers at the airport to receive the bodies of four soldiers who were killed along the Line of Control on Tuesday, the Janata Dal (United) left red-faced when one of its ministers made an insensitive remark that ‘people join the forces only to die’.

Reacting to Singh`s comment, Kumar said it was sad that his Cabinet minister gave such a comment.

Saluting the "sacrifice made by martyrs", Kumar expressed regret and apologised over Singh`s remark.

"The whole country is indebted to the soldiers; to giver respect to the martyrs is our duty."

On Thursday, Bihar’s Panchayati Raj Minister Bhim Singh had said that people join the Indian Army and the police force just to die. “Sena aur police me log marne hi jate hain (People join the Army and the police force only to die),” he told media in Patna.

When asked about the absence of state ministers at the airport. “Did your father and mother go (to receive the soldiers’ bodies),” he added, while posing a counter question to a reporter.

Later, Singh apologised for his outrageous remark.

“I apologise if my distorted comments have caused pain to the people minister. Chief Minister called me up and he expressed his displeasure at my comment. My comments have been distorted, I had not said that,” he said.

There was no minister at the Patna airport on Wednesday night to receive the bodies of the soldiers.

The mortal remains of Sepoy Vijay Kumar Rai, Lance Naik Shambhu Saran Singh and Premnath Singh and Sepoy Raghunandan Prasad from 21 Bihar regiment, who were among five soldiers killed along LoC, were on Thursday consigned to flames at their native villages of with full state honours.
Hundreds of people gathered at the cremation grounds to pay their homage to the brave soldiers who were martyred in Poonch sector on Tuesday.

(With Agency inputs)