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Martyr's father snubs Kerala chief minister

December 01, 2008 08:47 IST

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Faced with criticism for delay in showing respect to slain NSG commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Kerala [Images] Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Sunday called on the soldier's family members here, but a depressed father of Sandeep declined to accept his condolences.

The opposition parties in Kerala have accused the state government of having shown disrespect to the Kerala-born soldier, who lost his life while combating terrorists in Mumbai, by not sending any minister to his funeral, attended by a large number of people, including Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.

Achuthanandan accompanied by Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan rushed to the city. As Sandeep's father Unnikrishnan remained firm that no politician should enter his house and refused to meet VIPs from his own state, police persuaded Dhanalakshmi, mother of the slain commando, to talk to the guests.

Amid continued protests from Unnikrishnan, Balakrishnan gave words of comfort to Dhanalakshmi and Achuthanandan followed him.

Sources close to Unnikrishnan said he even went to the extent of issuing a threat that he would commit suicide if any politician entered his house.

He had told his friends that his son, whose valour was witnessed by the entire country, did not belong to Kerala alone but to the entire nation.

Unnikrishnan refused to allow police sniffer dogs into the house when security personnel came there ahead of the Kerala Chief Minister's visit to perform their duties.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Achuthanandan in Thiruvananthapuram said the political secretary of the Chief Minister had attended the funeral. 

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