Mathura: The family of Lance Naik Hemraj Singh, which is on a hunger strike demanding the severed body of the martyred soldier, said on Monday that it will break the fast only when the Army chief visit the village and promises that the remains of his body will be brought back.
"We are not going to call off our fast if a leader comes here and request us to do so. We want the Army chief to come here and assure us that he will get Hemraj's head back from Pakistan. Only then we will call off our fast," said Hemraj's cousin Narendra.
Entering into the sixth day of its fast, the soldier's family on Monday even refused to take liquids saying it wants an assurance from Army Chief General Bikram Singh that the severed head of Hemraj would be brought back and handed over to it.
Hemraj's wife Dharamvati, mother Meena and cousin Narendra have taken nothing but intravenous fluid as their condition deteriorated while doctors kept a close watch and examined them at regular intervals. Medical Officer of Chatha Public Health
Centre Dr Harshwardhan, said: "The family is refusing even to take any liquids. But we are maintaining there vital parameters. Dharamvati is being given IV fluid."
The family's demands came as the Army Chief addressed a press conference in New Delhi and said the beheading of two Indian soldiers in Pakistan army attack was "unacceptable". He said the Army understands the grief of the families of the brave soldiers who laid down their lives as they are "our families too" and they will make all attempts to ease the pain and suffering of Lance Naik Hemraj's family.
Pakistan army regulars had infiltrated inside Indian territory in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir and killed and mutilated the bodies of Lance Naiks Sudhakar Singh and Hemraj on January 8. At the village, 160 km far from Delhi and 50 km from Mathura, a large number of police personnel were deployed and almost the whole village had assembled near the house and village 'choupal' (common meeting place).
Villagers, who sat at the choupal in solidarity with the family and relatives, said Hemraj was very keen that his children - Nirmala (7), Prince (5) and Kallu (3) - get education and three months ago had shifted to a house in Chatha, which is a little far away, because it had a school. "He had made a house in Chatha because it had a school. His first two children are already in school and for them, he decided to get a house there," Draupal Singh, uncle of Hemraj's wife, said. Hemraj was recruited in the Army in 2001 and he got married to Dharamvati three years later. According to relatives, he had booked tickets to come to his village on February 7.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari and Leader of Opposition Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj visited the martyred soldier's family.
(With additional information from PTI)