Amid reports of Northeast Delhi riot victims still waiting for compensation amount promised to them, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia called the district magistrate and divisional commissioner for a meeting on Friday and issued directions to immediately disburse the funds, said a Delhi government official.
Shashi Kaushal, DM (Northeast), confirmed that she received a note from Sisodia and said the administration will follow it and disburse funds. “We are checking our applications and compensating people for their losses. A lot of families have also not filed applications. We are looking into the matter,” she said.
As per the note, in a lot of cases, compensation was sanctioned but the amount wasn’t credited. The note also mentions that the DM office must look into the forms that were filed but couldn’t be submitted at SDM office, and forms that were submitted but haven’t been verified. The note asks the district authorities to provide a status report on the issues raised and a timeline to provide compensation to those eligible as quickly as possible.
According to a digitisation report, 480 cases were rejected earlier by the government due to reasons like duplicity of claims etc. Till March 21, Rs 17.35 crore was disbursed under the
Delhi government’s assistance scheme. As per data shared by the government, 400 claims were pending in March. Officials said 2,000 claims are pending until June as many filed forms during the lockdown.
Officials said they haven’t been able to disburse funds in cases of loot because it is difficult to ascertain the amount of looted items and that the pandemic has affected work.
Following the February riots that left 53 dead and several injured, the government had promised to extend compensation up to Rs 10 lakh in cases of death; Rs 5 lakh for permanent incapacitation; Rs 2 lakh for serious injuries; Rs 20,000 for minor injuries; Rs 5,000 for animal loss. In cases of damages to residential units, up to Rs 5 lakh is supposed to be extended for every affected floor.
Families, meanwhile, continue to wait. Munisa (50) and her family of 12 fled after a mob threw petrol bombs and destroyed their home in Shiv Vihar. Under the scheme, the family is entitled to Rs 5 lakh, but has received Rs 25,000 so far.
“When we saw a group of 10-12 men during the riots, we picked up our grandchildren and ran to the rooftop. The mob pelted stones and threw petrol bombs… a neighbour helped us escape. Later, we went to the Eidgah (temporary shelter) but were asked to leave on March 24 due to Covid,” she said.
For the time being, the family is staying at a two-room house in the same locality. “For months, we didn’t have a job, we had to beg for food. My children brought food packets provided by NGOs and the government. Now, we have jobs but can’t afford to live in a better place. I went to the SDM office but they said we will get money later. How long do we have to wait?” said Munisa.
Imran Khan (32), who works at a printing shop, said his landlord and an NGO helped his family, but the compensation money is awaited: “I have four younger siblings, I’m the only one with a job now. We fled our house when we saw a mob attacking other houses. Now, it’s completely burnt.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Delhi Minorities Commission chairman Zafarul Islam Khan issued a notice to the Northeast DM after complaints of harassment were levelled against the Karawal Nagar sub-divisional magistrate. “I received a complaint from a lawyer saying her client was harassed by officers, and the SDM used abusive language when she asked for relief money. I have also received a few complaints from other families, alleging they haven’t received money yet. Officials can’t give excuses for extended lockdown and make people wait,” he said.
DM Kaushal denied the allegations. Puneet Patel, SDM (Karawal Nagar), said, “The allegations made by Khan are false. They don’t have information about the incident. I don’t want to comment further since the matter is being probed.”
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