New Delhi: The Congress on Friday demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying a bereaved retired army officer who had taken part in the Kargil war could not cremate his son due to restrictions imposed in Chandigarh for his visit.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the crematorium in Sector 25 was closed as part of security arrangements made for the prime minister’s visit to Chandigarh.
“The limit of insensitivity was crossed when the only son of Kargil war veteran Brigadier Devinder Singh (retd) did not get permission to cremate his son in Sector 25. The cremation had to be done by the bereaved family in adjoining Manimajra,” Surjewala said.
“We demand that he should immediately apologise to Brigadier Devender Singh and his bereaved family members,” Surjewala added.
He said schools had also been closed in Chandigarh. “Is it achhe din (good days),” he asked.
Surjewala said the prime minister’s rally in Chandigarh was “political” but its expenses were not borne by the Bharatiya Janata Party. “There cannot be bigger example of misuse of position.”
Modi on Friday expressed regret over the inconvenience caused to people as his four-hour visit to Chandigarh led to the closure of schools and Chandigarh’s main cremation ground, besides causing traffic snarls that paralysed the city.
“An inquiry will be held and responsibility fixed for the inconvenience caused to the people of Chandigarh,” Modi tweeted.
“The inconvenience caused to the citizens of Chandigarh, especially shutting of schools, due to my visit is regretted. It was totally avoidable,” Modi added.
The authorities in Chandigarh ordered the closure of all 187 schools on Friday, blocked roads to ensure smooth movement of the prime minister’s cavalcade and even ordered ambulances to take longer detours to reach hospitals.
The main cremation ground in sector 25, located next to the ground where Modi addressed an official rally on Friday afternoon, too was out of bounds for people.