Rahul Gandhi detained, freed, detained again as protest over ex-soldiers’ suicide hots up

Rajat Kain

New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi with party leaders Anand Sharma and Bhupinder Singh Hooda coming out of Mandir Marg Police Station after his release, Nov 2, 2016. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi with party leaders Anand Sharma and Bhupinder Singh Hooda coming out of Mandir Marg Police Station after his release, Nov 2, 2016.
Photo – PTI

Delhi Police, with its tight bandobast and large contingent, quelled reach out to the bereaved family of ex-soldier who allegedly committed suicide over One Rank One Pension (OROP) issue on Tuesday. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia were detained by the Delhi Police as they visited RML hospital to meet the family of deceased war veteran.

Gandhi’s detention led to the series of police action as several other Congress leaders too were held after impromptu protests at various places over the incident. Many Congress MPs courted arrest as well.

70-year-old Subedar (Retd) Ram Kishan Grewal, a resident of Haryana, allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison at a park in New Delhi area yesterday evening. According to his friends, the veteran had been upset over the OROP issue for some time.

Attempting to meet the bereaved family at RML hospital Wednesday afternoon, Rahul Gandhi found himself shut out at the gates of the hospital. Even though he wasn’t able to enter the hospital premises, the Congress vice president was detained by the police.

“We have detained Rahul Gandhi and he has been taken to Mandir Marg police station… He came here against our advice, so we didn’t let him enter the hospital,” said Delhi police’s senior official in-charge of New Delhi range MK Meena.

“We will not allow any kind of politics inside hospitals in Delhi… Democracy does not mean obstruction of health services,” he said adding that the family members of the deceased veteran too have been “detained”.

New Delhi: Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Raj Babbar and Kumari Shelja at Mandir Marg Police Station where party Vice President Rahul Gandhi was detained by the police in New Delhi on Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016. Photo - PTI

New Delhi: Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Raj Babbar and Kumari Shelja at Mandir Marg Police Station where party Vice President Rahul Gandhi was detained by the police in New Delhi on Wednesday, Nov 2, 2016.
Photo – PTI

Before being detained, Rahul Gandhi waited outside the RML hospital as the gates were locked and Delhi police posted its men to prevent Gandhi from meeting the bereaved family of the deceased.

naya Hindustan ban raha hai…is ko aap pechanayi. Hindustan mein aaj kya ho raha isko aap pehchaniye…,” Rahul Gandhi said criticising the Central government.

“It is a mentality. It is a non-democratic mentality…” the Congress vice president stressed as a heavy press pack sought his reaction.

After his brief detention at Mandir Marg police station, Rahul was taken to South Avenue police station where he was allowed to meet the family of deceased solider Ram Kishen Grewal. But by the evening, Rahul Gandhi was detained again by the Delhi police.

There were also reports of police personnel manhandling Congress workers as they were shifted to the police station in the heart of the capital.

Angrily reacting over the developments, principal opposition party Congress termed it “high handedness” of the police, for its leaders were detained for violation of no law.

“The family members of the deceased solider, who fought for the country on borders, were humiliated and beaten by the police. Is this a police state? This also reflects on the state of affairs under the BJP rule,” senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told.

Kejriwal-n-Sisodia

Earlier, Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, who managed to enter the hospital premises and met the family members of the deceased, was also detained by the Delhi Police.

“For the first time we are seeing politicising in the name of armed forces… Had Centre and PM Modi implemented the OROP, Ram Kishan ji would not have to end his life ,” Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal reacted as he reached RML hospital.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh defended the action of Delhi Police reasoning that “whatever has to be done for risk reduction, the Delhi Police will do.”