Martyr gets cold shoulder from UP govt

Not a single minister from Uttar Pradesh’s jumbo cabinet nor Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav bothered to attend the cremation of Lance Naik Hemraj Singh, who was brutally killed by Pakistani soldiers near the LoC in Jammu & Kashmir along with his colleague on Tuesday, at his native village of Sher Nagar in Mathura district. 

The government was conspicuous by its absence, which not only irked opposition parties in the state, but also triggered resentment among the martyr’s family and villagers.

Thousands from Hemraj’s village and adjoining areas attended the funeral on Wednesday.
“The chief minister has time to attend other functions but has no time to pay a visit to the grieving family of a soldier who sacrificed his life for the nation,” said the pradhan (head) of Sher Nagar, Dharam Singh, on Thursday. Even Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders admitted that it was a “mistake”.

“At least one minister should have visited the family and attended the funeral,” said a senior SP leader, and added that Akhilesh may now plan to visit Sher Nagar.

What made the slip-up more serious was that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan attended the funeral of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh who hailed from MP’s Sidhi district. “This regime has no sympathy for soldiers”, quipped state BJP leader Vijay Pathak.

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

Meanwhile, protests continued in the state against the unprovoked killings with BJP workers burning a Pakistani flag and holding a demonstration near the state Legislature to register their protest.

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