"India is a land of mourners," Aligarh district magistrate Rajeev Rautela has reportedly said in remarks that have sparked a storm.
"5,000 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan, but you will never hear their families asking for compensation, they want to do something for the country," said the official.
"It is the duty of soldiers to lay down their lives on the war front. (In India) the government pays the soldier, he is fighting on the border, he dies serving the country, then until we get petrol pumps or Rs 50 lakh compensation, we say we won't allow last rites, how will this country progress?"
Mr Rautela's comments to a group of journalists on Sunday set off a flurry of comments on the social media. Sources close to him, however, say he has been "quoted out of context."