Mewat’s cruelty | I snatched posts from Pakistan in Kargil but lost own son: Cop’s dad

“I snatched posts from Pakistan in Kargil but lost my son to internal clashes,” slain Muslim cop’s father in Mewat

GADHI BAZDIPUR (NUH) | Updated: 03 August, 2023 12:58 pm IST
Neeraj's uncle says the government should support his widow

GADHI BAZDIPUR: Snaking through the twists and turns – much like the tragic events that unfolded on Monday this week – the two-storied home of this Haryana home guard in Nuh hides a telling conundrum of emotions, or maybe a case of a mistaken identity.

Rubbing their eyes in disbelief, Neeraj’s father, uncle and brother, all of whom have served in the Army, cannot reconcile they have lost their only breadwinner to one of the deadly clashes in India this summer.

“I worked as a soldier during my posting at Kargil and snatched posts from Pakistan. But today, I have lost my own son to internal clashes with our own,” Chiranji Lal, the father of the slain cop tells The New Indian.

Lal, whose family has been using Hindu names for generations, looks confused between his laurels of the past and the dizzying memories of his son in uniform.

Neeraj’s family boasts of 17 such men who, at different stages, have worked for the Indian Army. Many in the neighbourhood and the Haryana Police shudder to think that the rampaging mob killed him, not realizing that he was from their own religion.

The New Indian team travelled 122 km from Delhi to bring the poignant tale of the Muslim family that went down fighting in the service of the nation with a sense of pride and selfless courage. When we sat with the bereaved father and his widow, the brick and mortar home wailed and wept for his hero and his sacrifice.

The walls holding the red bricks nearly ruptured with a sound of gun salute given in his honour but the tears of grief bring the deafening silence at the Khan family’s home.

READ MORE: Explained: How communal clashes engulfed Haryana’s Nuh?

He has left behind his widow, two children, and a trail of his gritty journey. Neeraj still lives inside each one of them with the same patriotic spirit he had for his state and the country when he took up the job 14 years ago. The family is broken but insists it harbours no malice towards any community.

Neeraj Khan’s father remembers him as an upright man 

“His life was meant to serve,” says his uncle Latur Singh Khan and demands the government to provide a compensatory job to Neeraj’s widow Vakila. “The poor woman has to live her life on her own and raise her children.

Neeraj’s family and neighbours recall him as a self-motivated and cheerful person, and had a fair share of struggle. He would get up before the break of dawn and travel nearly 28 km to Kherki Daula Police Station in neighbouring Gurugram, they recount.

Neeraj, like most home guards, would not get his mothly salary of ₹18000, which was recently raised to ₹24,000 on time. “He would receive the salary at a gap of 2-3 months and manage his household by often borrowing money from others,” says his uncle.

READ MORE: Hindus down shutters over communal rioting in Gurugram

Left to fend for herself and her teenage son and daughter, Vakila is inconsolable and fails to reconcile with the new reality of life. “I have lost my pillar of strength. What will I do without him? How will I feed my children and give them education?” she wails.

Neeraj’s brother Sonu Khan, still has hope in Manohar Lal Khattar’s BJP government and the local administration. “He was a man of the administration. They won’t do anything wrong with him. But they should do something for his wife and children,” he demands.

Apart from an assurance of solidarity and sympathy, the family has not yet heard from any senior police officer, the government or the police station where he served.

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