UP Minister Slammed For “Photo Op” As Dead Soldier’s Mother Sobs

Sharing the video on X, the Congress handle wrote: “Vultures”.


Two politicians from Uttar Pradesh have been slammed on social media for allegedly prioritising a photo op over the grief of the mother of an Army captain killed in action. The mother is seen sobbing and telling them to stop the “public display” as they try to hand over two cheques to her.

Both politicians, one of whom is a minister, are from the BJP and their action has been termed “insensitive and heartless” by the Congress and the AAP, as well as people on social media.

Captain Shubham Gupta was among five Army soldiers killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri between Wednesday and Thursday. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had paid tributes to Captain Gupta on Thursday and announced a compensation of Rs 50 lakh as well as a government job for a member of his family.

In a video shared by leaders from opposition parties on Friday, Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Yogendra Upadhyay and BJP MLA GS Dharmesh are seen trying to get their photo taken with the mother of Captain Gupta at their Agra residence while handing over cheques to her.

The sobbing mother pulls her hands back and says “yeh pradarshini mat lagao bhai” (don’t make this a public display). “Get my son back, I don’t want all this,” the mother adds, but the politicians look at her and then turn back to look at the cameras.

Sharing the video on X, formerly Twitter, the Congress party’s handle wrote just one word: “Vultures”.

Aam Aadmi Party leader Raghav Chaddha also shared the video and wrote that the B in BJP should stand for “besharam” (shameless) and P for Publicity. He claimed that while the mother was waiting for her son’s body, the minister was more interested in taking a photograph for public relations (PR) purposes.

“The B in BJP should stand for Besharm and P for Publicity. Captain Shubham Gupta made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty during an encounter in the Rajouri sector. His mother is grieving and eagerly awaiting her son’s mortal remains. In the midst of her inconsolable sorrow, UP government’s BJP Minister Yogendra Upadhyay shamelessly persists on having a photograph taken for his PR – this, despite the mother’s plea to refrain from turning her grief into a spectacle. Shame (sic),” Mr Chadha posted.

Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Priyanka Chaturvedi also posted the video and wrote: “Shameless, insensitive”.

Captain Shubham Gupta had joined the Indian Army in 2015 and was commissioned in 2018. His first posting was in Udhampur.

The four other soldiers who died in the encounter were Captain MV Pranjal, Havildar Abdul Majid, Lance Naik Sanjay Bisht and Paratrooper Sachin Laur. Two Pakistani terrorists, including a senior commander who was an IED expert and a trained sniper, had also been shot dead.

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