Chandigarh: Congress on Friday demanded that army veteran Ram Kishan Grewal be declared a martyr, saying he "sacrificed his life for some cause" but Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar dismissed it, insisting a "wrong precedent" will be set if a person who committed suicide is accorded such a status.
During Obituary Resolutions moved during the special session of the state Assembly here, Haryana Congress Legislature Party leader Kiran Choudhary demanded that Grewal's name be included in the list of martyrs.
A special session was convened today as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Haryana's formation. The state was carved out from the then joint Punjab on November 1, 1966.
Replying to Chaudhary's demand, Khattar said his name should not be included in the list of martyrs.
"(Kiran) Choudhary has taken a name of a soldier (Grewal) to be included in martyr list but I feel that he has committed suicide and his name should not be added in the list.
"We should not set wrong precedent in the House. We have sympathy with him but that does not mean that he should be declared as martyr. It is not appropriate to put his name in martyr list," Khattar said.
Leader of opposition and INLD MLA Abhay Chautala asked Khattar if he has objection to the demand of Choudhary, then he should inform the House why Haryana government promised Rs 10 lakh and a government job to the family of the ex- serviceman.
"We have full sympathy with him (Grewal)...A lot of accidents take place (in state) even then we extend financial help to the tune of Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh," said Khattar.
State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said the opposition party should avoid turning this issue into any controversy.
"We just want to know why Rs 10 lakh and a government job is being given to him. If you (Khattar) have sympathy with every citizen of the state, the government should decide today that if any youth dies in an accident, his family should be given Rs 10 lakh and a government job," Chautala said.
Senior Congress leader Raghubir Kadiyan said it was not suicide.
"He sacrificed his life for some cause," said the former Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker, drawing objections from the treasury benches.
The Obituary Motion was adopted by the House without incorporating the demand of the opposition.
Yesterday, Khattar when asked whether Haryana would declare the ex-serviceman a martyr, had said only those who lay down their lives at the border are declared martyrs.