Bulandshahr : The mortal remains of Naik Neeraj Raghav of 57 Rashtriya Rifles, who lost his life fighting terrorists in Kupwara in north Kashmir, were consigned to flames at his native village only after Home Minister Rajnath Singh rang up the brother of the slain jawan.
Miffed at the indifference on part of the political establishment, the family members of the 32-year-old jawan had threatened that they would not cremate the body unless Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Defence Minister Arun Jaitley or Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited the village.
NDTV quoted Ombir Singh, Neeraj’s father, as saying: “Is it too much to ask for some respect for the dead? Is it too much to ask some leader to meet us, to give us some assurance that the government will not abandon us? My son died fighting for our country. He is not going to come back now, is he? It is up to me to make sure his family is taken care of.”
According to the channel, 70 km away in Baahpur, in western UP, Grenadier Rahul Kumar’s father also had some questions for the government. “We were promised achche din (good days). Where are they? We were promised tough action along the border, where are the achche din we were promised?” asks Jai Kishen Singh, whose 23-year-old son also died fighting militants in Kashmir.
Neeraj was alive when the helicopter came to evacuate him. According to NDTV, he told the chopper crew that he had shot at least four infiltrators. And had he had a little more strength left in him, he would have killed more. Incidentally, Neeraj broke with tradition in a family of farmers when he joined the army.