March 12, 2021 1:05:21 am
The Delhi government’s Committee on Welfare of Minorities, looking into disbursal of compensation to victims of the Northeast Delhi riots, has recommended that a new team be set up to undertake fresh physical surveys of properties that were damaged and reassess cases. The committee’s report was presented in the Delhi Assembly on Thursday, amid heated discussions.
The committee, headed by AAP Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan and eight other MLAs, has also recommended that people who were not able to apply for compensation in the first instance be given another chance. “An effective mechanism should be put in place to avoid duplication of entries in order to save effort and time. Action taken report on the recommendations should be submitted by the divisional commissioner within a month of adoption of this report by the House,” the report said.
Justifying its demand, the committee said there had been errors of judgment or negligence in terms of compensation amount given in many cases.
“The committee is of the opinion that even now, many victims are running door-to-door in order to receive their due compensation. Undoubtedly, the standstill in official proceedings due to the unavoidable lockdown added to the misery of the already distressed riot victims. However, a year after the riots, no victim should have been struggling to receive the compensation they deserve… The committee has also come across various cases where the remarks provided by the officers in charge of verification and the evidence provided by the Hon’ble members do not match. The committee believes there could have been negligence on the part of the first verification team or it could have been a simple error of judgement. Either way, this should not affect the proceedings of awarding due compensation to those who have been badly impacted in the riots. The committee also believes that further delay in redressal of these issues would lead to mistrust in the government system among the victims,” the report said.
A heated exchange ensued between AAP and opposition MLAs over Khan’s statements on the riots, which were later expunged. BJP MLA Anil Bajpai was marshalled out of the house. Speaker Ram Niwas Goel also cut short Khan’s speech in the Assembly, asking him to stick to the facts in the report. The House was adjourned for 15 minutes.
Khan said the committee had received several complaints regarding no or less compensation and that the Delhi government has provided Rs 27.19 crore compensation so far. He added that there were cases related to 47 commercial and 66 residential properties that were damaged in the violence in which no compensation was received by the owners.
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