Proclaim victims of bank queues as martyrs: Shiv Sena

Mumbai: Giving a jolt to its alliance partner the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Shiv Sena on Saturday demanded that the government proclaim over 40 persons who died in serpentine bank queues post-demonetisation as “martyrs”.

“Everyone, right from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, central ministers and BJP Chief Ministers and party leaders have been singing paens to those standing in long bank queues as the ‘real patriots’ after the ‘surgical strike’ on black money,” the Sena said in a stinging edit in the party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

These millions have been standing in long queues outside bank branches and ATM kiosks “like beggars”, and (over) 40 have died so far, their businesses have collapsed, their jobs are gone, their hearth fires have also extinguished, but they are genuine brave heroes who silently bear it all, noted the Sena sarcastically.

“These 40 who died were not thieves, so how can we ignore their sacrifices? They should be declared as martyrs, memorials should be constructed for them and their families be given Rs 50 lakh compensation, on the lines of the 20 killed in the Uri terror strikes,” the Sena said.

It observed that on the country’s borders, it’s the ordinary soldiers who face the bullets and lose their lives, and in bank queues the common citizens are standing and dying.

“Neither the big politicians, industrialists, businessmen, leaders or their children and relatives fight at the borders, nor wait in long queues to exchange their notes,” the Sena said.

Referring to the controversy over Ghulam Nabi Azad’s — Congress’ Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha — Uri comments and the BJP’s demands for an apology, the Sena said: “The truth is not going to change if he apologises.”

It added that Pakistani terrorists did not kill even half the number of our soldiers in Uri than the ordinary people who have died due to the government’s wrong policy, and besides, the attacks from across the borders have not ceased.

The edit said if the government’s adamant attitude continued, and if the number of victims due to inflation, recession or unemployment increases from 40 to 40,00,000 and the governments claims the dead were “sacrificed for patriotism”, a time would come when the whole country would have to be declared as “martyr”.

The Sena has maintained that it is with the government in the fight against black money and corruption, but it was against the manner in which the demonetisation was implemented resulting in sufferings to 125 crore people.