The widows of five 1984 Sikh riot victims called off their fast Saturday after Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal agreed to meet them on September 28 in Chandigarh.
The five women were protesting in front of the office of Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana since September 12 and had announced to commit suicide in front of the CM’s residence. Taking a serious note on this issue, Badal today sent Education Minister Daljeet Singh Cheema for talks. After breaking their fast, Cheema announced that the Chief Minister will meet them on September 28 .
Speaking to The Indian Express, Amarjit Singh, spokesperson, 1984 Danga Peerit Welfare Society said, “The fast was called off after the Chief Minister agreed to us. Cheema, who visited us as a representative of the Chief Minister has promised that the officials concerned will attend the meeting and action pertaining to our demands will be announced there and then. If government backtracks from its promise, we will start our agitation again. From our side, four persons will represent the victims’ families.”
The victims are demanding that Punjab government should give a relief grant of Rs 5 lakh each to the family on the lines of the Central government. They recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently had distributed cheques to riot-affected families in Delhi.
“The red cards of some 109 families are ready with the government but are not being distributed due to dillydallying attitude of officials. Also, 135 red card holders were cancelled citing lack of documentation. We demand that their cards be revived. Many riot victims have no documents as they were destroyed during the massacre. But they cannot be denied of benefits just due to lack of documents,” Singh said.