Bihar Minister Sparks Outrage With Comment On Soldier Killed In Kashmir

Vinod Singh, who handles Mines and Geology department, is also minister in-charge of Bhojpur district, under which the soldier's native village falls.

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Bihar Minister Sparks Outrage With Comment On Soldier Killed In Kashmir

Vinod Singh is also minister in-charge of Bhojpur district where the soldier's village is located.


Patna:  Bihar minister Vinod Singh has invited biting criticism with his insensitive remarks about a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan, who had died fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir early this week.

When asked about delay in reaching the soldier's family, Mr Singh had said "what would have my reaching Peero (the place in Bhojpur to which CRPF jawan belonged) earlier had achieved. Would it have brought the slain CRPF jawan back to life"?

Mr Singh, who handles Mines and Geology department, is also minister in-charge of Bhojpur district, under which the soldier's native village falls.

The minister, who had gone to native Peero village of the soldier yesterday, was asked by journalists about his absence at the funeral of Mujahid Khan on Tuesday.

"I was in my assembly constituency of Katihar when Khan's body was brought to Bhojpur, which was 600 kms away. So there was bound to be some delay", Mr Singh had said.

Upon being pressed further, he shot back "what would have my reaching Peero earlier achieved. Would it have brought the slain CRPF jawan back to life?"

His comment has led to call for his resignation. 

Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Tejashwi Yadav said in a statement, "if the minister could not show due respect to the martyr, he should have at least not insulted the CRPF jawan in this manner".

"Chief Minister Nitish Kumar must sack the minister. If he is wary of doing so, on account of the minister belonging to his powerful ally the BJP, he should tender his resignation", Mr Yadav said.

Kaukab Qadri, acting president of the state Congress Kaukab Qadri, said the remark "shows the mindset of the minister and proves that he does not deserve to hold the post". 

Mujahid Khan was killed in a gunbattle on Monday last when terrorists had attacked a CRPF camp in Srinagar's Karan Nagar.

His family had earlier this week declined to accept a cheque of Rs five lakh, paid by the state government as ex-gratia, saying the policy of giving a compensation of Rs 11 lakh to next of the kin of slain army personnel and a lesser amount to family members of paramilitary jawans was discriminatory.

(With inputs from PTI)

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