Slain soldier’s family ends fast


The family of slain Lance Naik Hemraj Singh, who was beheaded by Pakistani troops in Poonch last week, ended their three-day-old dharna when Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav visited their house at Sher Nagar village in Mathura on Monday afternoon.

While the CM offered a financial assistance of Rs 25 lakh, Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh, who also visited the family, announced a compensation of Rs 46 lakh.

Akhilesh offered fruit juice to Hemraj's aged mother Meena Devi and wife Dharamwati Devi, who had been fasting since Saturday. "Our dharna has ended. The CM gave juice to Hemraj's wife and mother," said Hemraj's younger brother Jai Singh.

Earlier in the day, BJP president Nitin Gadkari, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and former BJP president Rajnath Singh visited the family.

Hemraj's family had been staging a dharna outside their house at Sher Nagar, about 70 kms from Mathura district headquarters, to demand that the government should arrange to bring back his head. They also complained that nobody from the Centre or the state government had visited them in their time of grief, while Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan had attended the cremation of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh, Hemraj's comrade who died in the same incident.

The two Indian Army personnel were killed near the Line of Control in Poonch district last Tuesday when Pakistani troops came into Indian territory and attacked a patrol team. On January 9, the body was brought to Hemraj's native place and cremated. Hemraj is survived by his aged mother, wife and three children. He also has two brothers Pooran Singh and Jai Singh.

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