In his last conversation before dying, ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal had told his son that he was sacrificing his life for the “betterment of family, ex-soldiers and nation”.
Grewal, who allegedly committed suicide yesterday evening, called up his younger son Kulwant and said, “I am sitting near India Gate and I have consumed poison.”
"The government is doing injustice to jawans and I can’t tolerate this. I am a man of principle. I am sacrificing my life for the betterment my family, ex-soldiers and my nation,” 70-year-old retired Subedar of the Indian army Grewal is heard saying in an audio clip of the phone call.
In the audio clip, the veteran is also heard telling his son that he consumed two to three tablets five minutes before he made the phone call.
His son finally breaks down on the phone and tells Subedar that "you lost the battle, father."
Grewal was from Haryana's Bhiwani district and ended his life in the lawns behind the Jawahar Bhavan, which houses the Ministry of External Affairs, last evening.
The Defence Ministry has said that Grewal was one of the recipients of benefits under the OROP.
However, Ministry sources said Grewal had received a lesser amount as part of the One Rank-One Pension scheme under the 6th pay commission due to an error in calculation by the SBI bank branch in Bhiwani district of Haryana, a matter which
was being looked into.
Grewal was reportedly drawing Rs 23,000 as pension as against Rs 28,000 he would be entitled to under one-rank, one-pension scheme.
He had come to Delhi with three other former soldiers to approach Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar over the OROP pension for retired soldiers.
Defence Ministry sources have said that Grewal did not have an appointment to meet the Defence Minister.
According to his friend, Jagdish Rai, a 70-year old retired Havildar, Grewal had gone to the Defence Ministry on Tuesday with a memorandum, which he wanted to submit to Parrikar. However, he was not allowed to do so. This made him depressed, after which he allegedly consumed poison.
In his suicide note, written with pencil on the corner of a memorandum that Grewal had prepared to submit to Parrikar, he said he was making the sacrifice for the soldiers and the nation.
"Main mere desh ke liye, meri matrubhumi ke liye, evam mere desh ke veer jawano ke liye apney prano ko nyochhavar kar raha hun (For my country, my motherland, and the brave soldiers of my country, I am sacrificing my life)," the note said.
Rai, who took Grewal to hospital, said that initially a group of four army veterans, including Grewal, had come to Delhi from Bhiwani to submit a memorandum to Parrikar.