New Delhi: The alleged suicide of ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Garehwal over the OROP issue has turned into a big political issue after Congress and AAP politicians made a beeline to meet the family of the deceased.
The Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in central Delhi became the epicentre of the drama over the issue after the Delhi Police, citing complaints by the hospital administration and other patients of being discomforted, took a stand against allowing politicians to meet the family of Garehwal.
While Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia managed to meet the family, he was later detained by the police and taken to police station.
The issue reached a boiling point after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was stopped at the gates of the hospital and denied entry into the premises.
Rahul Gandhi moved from one gate to another of the hospital only to be told that he will not be allowed inside at any cost.
An exasperated Rahul said, “What sort of country is being created (by Modi government)? For the first time in the history of India, we are not being allowed to meet the family of our soldiers.”
On being asked about the situation, Rahul said, “It's a mentality, it is an undemocratic type of mentality.”
Later, Rahul said that he had found a solution. “I have found a solution, they (family members of ex-jawan) are coming out to meet me.”
However, the family members were not allowed to meet Rahul. An adamant Congress leader announced that he will not budge before getting to meet the family, forcing the police to detain him as well. He was later taken to the Mandir Marg Police Station.
The police also took family members of the deceased ex-jawan to the same hospital.
Livid about the situation, Rahul slammed the police. “Aren't you ashamed of arresting the family of a martyr. What sort of rule is this?”
Meanwhile, several senior Congress leaders, including Ahmed Patel, and workers began a protest outside the Mandir Marg Police Station.
“The way (Modi) government is working since day one is anti-democratic, this is a well-thought conspiracy to stop Rahul Gandhi wherever he goes,” said Ahmed Patel.
Rahul was released after 70 minutes in detention.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also rushed to the Lady Hardinge Hospital – where Garhewal's body was kept - but he too was not allowed to enter the hospital. “As Chief Minister of Delhi, am I not supposed to respond when there is a suicide in the state? The Deputy CM has also been detained, we have a cabinet meeting today which we will have to cancel now. This is 'gundagardi'.”
AAP party workers are also protesting outside the police station against the detention of Dy CM Sisodia.
Reacting to the development BJP spokesperson Shrikant Sharma said Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal wait for a tragedy to start playing politics over it.
“Why hasn't Rahul Gandhi ensure that OROP was given to soldiers during the 40 years Congress was in power,” he said.
Meanwhile, family members of Ram Kishan Garehwal have alleged that they have been beaten up by the police.
Also Read: Delhi Police beat dead ex-serviceman's son
Earlier, Delhi Police Special Commissioner MK Meena said, “It's a hospital and not a place for any demonstration. Rahul Gandhi detained for trying to enter hospital despite being advised otherwise.”
AAP leaders who came here for creating a disturbance at the hospital have also been detained, the police officer said.
“Family members were detained as well as they are contacting political leaders and holding a demonstration here. Democracy doesn't mean creating an obstruction. Leaders must also understand that a hospital is not the place to hold any demonstrations,” said Meena.