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BJP reacts to a soldier’s death only if it brings in votes, says brother of slain BSF jawan

T. Alex Lalminlun was killed in J&K on 1 April. His family says no MLA, MP or the BJP chief minister came either to receive the body or for the last rites.

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New Delhi: On 3 April, when T. Alex Lalminlun’s body reached the Imphal airport in the Manipur capital not a single government functionary was present to receive it or to pay condolences. The Border Security Force (BSF) personnel of the 168 division had been killed in action on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir just two days earlier.

Now, the family of Lalminlun, a tribal who hailed from Manipur, has come out to charge the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state of apathy towards the slain soldier.

“They know how to use soldiers to further their political agenda. If they think this will get them votes, they react, else they do not care,” Laminlun’s elder brother Joseph told ThePrint.

“Not even a single government functionary cared to be at the airport when my brother’s body was brought in,” said Joseph.

“No MLA, no MP or the chief minister came for the last rites and no one even cared to send a representative of the government,” he added.

Lalminlun was killed on 1 April while retaliating to ceasefire violation by Pakistani forces in J&K’s Poonch sector after being hit by the splinter of a shell.

Since his death, the only reaction from Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh came in the form of a tweet.

‘Is this nationalism?’

Joseph said the BJP government’s apathy goes against the idea of nationalism.

“Is this nationalism? Your jawan has died fighting for the country and you do not even have a few hours to spare for his last rites? Is this the respect that he finally got for taking the bullet for his country?”

The 36-year-old inspector rank personnel is survived by his wife and a 3-year-old son.

“The day my brother’s body arrived in Manipur, it was his son’s first day at school. A personnel gives up so much in life for his country, including his family and children, he at least deserves this much respect,” Joseph said.

“I, however, thank the Superintendent Police and Deputy Commandant who were there throughout the ceremony for the whole day.”

The brother of the slain BSF personnel went on to add, “I have no idea if he was discriminated because he belongs to the tribal community.”

CM sends condolences two days later

After the family expressed its displeasure at the Manipur government’s alleged lack of courtesy, many took to social media condemning the silence.

“T Alex Lalminlun of 168 division BSF was martyred in the line of duty after being hit by the splinter of a shell in the LoC at J&K on April 2. Not a single candidate showed up for his funeral, not even @NBirenSingh. This is how much tribal lives matter to Indian nationalism,” tweeted a user named Makepeace Sitlhou.

Another Twitter user named Vikrant Singh posted, “Wish political fraternity turned up. Yet, their absence does not undermine his Supreme sacrifice for the Country. We are indebted to him. May his family get enough strength to cope up with this colossal loss.”

However, these tweets came days after Manipur CM Singh sent a tweet on 3 April saying, “Rest in Peace. Dear Brother”.

The BSF tweeted on 1 April itself, soon after the news of the personnel’s death came.

“Director General and all ranks #BSF salute the supreme sacrifice of Inspector T Alex Lalminlun and offer condolences to the family of Braveheart,” the BSF’s tweet read.

‘Insensitive face’

Joseph said the Manipur chief minister “woke up and sent his condolences through a tweet” only after social media started writing about it.

“He still didn’t care to send a representative or a personal message. It does not happen anywhere else. This just shows an ugly and insensitive face of this government,” said Joseph.

“They may be busy with the elections, but does that mean you insult a jawan?”

Also read: No takers for women’s quota in CRPF, CISF or BSF as forces strive to fulfil Modi govt plan


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