Family members of one of the martyrs of Uri attack accused a local BJP MP of treating them as “beggar” and made an attempt to raise alms when they were mourning.
“We were reduced from a hero’s family to beggars by BJP MP from Sant Kabir Nagar Sharad Tripathi,” Kalawati Devi, mother of Sepoy Ganesh Shankar Yadav said.
Ganesh Shankar Yadav was one of the unarmed sepoys who was killed in the terrorist attack in Uri. When his body was brought to native village Dhurupali in Sant Kabir Nagar, many local leaders visited their residence to pay their respect. Sharad Tripathi too came to pay his condolence.
Kalawati said that the BJP MP came with his supporters and sat there for almost an hour. “Suddenly we saw one of the supporters of BJP MP laid an `angchcha’ (towel) on the ground and people started throwing currency notes. Heaps of currency notes collected there in no time,” she said.
Martyr’s wife Gudia said: “As soon as we came to know what was going on, we felt very humiliated. We are not beggars. We objected to this behaviour after which MP sahib and his supporters left.”
“We had not asked for money; we had only expected due respect,” the slain soldier’s wife, Gudiya Yadav, said. “But he (the MP) insulted a martyr who had laid down his life for the nation.” She said
“What this MP did was beyond my imagination. The entire village is furious with him.” Arjun Yadav, a relative of Ganesh, said.
The Sant Kabir Vikas Manch, a local social organisation, said although it could do nothing to reverse the “insult handed to a martyr by a politician”, it would try to honour the slain sepoy’s memory by installing his statue in the village. “It will be installed soon and unveiled on January 26 next year,” said Dara Singh, the convener of the Manch
Sharad Tripathi did not pick up the phone but his father Ramapati Ram Tripathi said that his MP son had no intention to insult the family. He probably wanted to help them. It is common practice in villages that people contribute for the cremation.
“Probably, the occasion was not right and Sharad failed to gauge the sentiments of the family members,” Ramapati Ram Tripathi, who was once state president of State BJP, said.
Meanwhile, the family members also claimed most of them were running fever but “did not receive any medical help despite making calls to government doctors”.