UP govt skips martyr's funeral, offers Rs 20 lakh grant

Lance Naik Hemraj Singh, who was brutally killed by the Pakistani soldiers on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, may have made his family and the entire nation proud but his own state government gave him a cold shoulder by not sending any minister to attend the martyr’s cremation on Wednesday. 

Family of the slain jawan has also asked the government to trace the head of deceased at earliest.

Neither any minister from the Uttar Pradesh’s cabinet nor the chief minister Akhilesh Yadav bothered to attend the cremation of the martyr on Wednesday at his native village in Sher Nagar in Mathura district, about 450 kilometres from here. 

Government’s indifference only irked the opposition parties in the state but also triggered resentment among the family members of the soldier and the villagers.

Thousands of people from his village and adjoining areas were present when his mortal remains were consigned to flames.

“The chief minister has the time to attend other functions but none to pay a visit to the grieving family of a soldier, who sacrificed his life for the nation,” said Dharam Singh, head of the Sher Nagar village on Thursday.

Even the Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders admitted that it was a mistake. “At least one of the ministers should have visited the family and attended the cremation,” said a senior SP leader here. However, Akhilesh may now plan to visit the village of Hemraj, said the leaders.

The government later announced a cash compensation of Rs 20 lakh to the martyr’s family.

Minister for revenue Ambika Chaudhary skirted the question when asked about the absence of any minister at the funeral of the jawan.

What made the slip-up more serious was that in the neighbouring Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan himself placed wreath on the body of the martyr Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh, who hailed from MP’s Sidhi district.

“This regime has no sympathy for the soldiers,” quipped state BJP leader Vijay Pathak.

BSP supremo Mayawati has demanded financial compensation to the martyr’s family and job to his widow.

The family of Hemraj had insisted on seeing his body one last time but was not allowed a glimpse.

“We want the government to trace the head of my son. We shall not live in peace till then,” the mother of the martyr Meena Devi said.

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