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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

National Minorities commission issues notices to states for failing to provide compensation to anti-sikh riot victims even after 37 years

In August this year, the Ministry of Minority Affairs had informed Parliament that the Centre had made a provision of Rs 4.5 crore in the Union Budget for the enhanced compensation for 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims.

Written by Esha Roy | New Delhi |
Updated: October 30, 2021 8:29:13 am
The union government had earlier introduced a rehabilitation package to provide relief to victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The National Commission for Minorities has issued a notice to nine states for not having completed the compensation process for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots – November 1st marks 37 years of the riots.

The Commission has issued notices to Delhi, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh to file reports with the Commission detailing the victims, compensation paid so far and arrests and action taken against the accused in these cases.

In August this year, the Ministry of Minority Affairs had informed Parliament that the Centre had made a provision of Rs 4.5 crore in the Union Budget for the enhanced compensation for 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims.

The union government had earlier introduced a rehabilitation package to provide relief to victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The scheme had contained ex-gratia payment of Rs 3.5 lakhs for each death case and Rs 1.25 lakhs in case of injuries. The scheme also contained a provision for the State governments to grant pension to widows and old aged parents of death victims at the uniform rate of Rs 2500 per month, for whole life. The expenditure on payment of pension was to be borne by the State government. However, the compensation was enhanced in 2014 by the Modi government to Rs 5 lakh from earlier 3.5 lakh per deceased, who died during the 84 anti-Sikh riots.

“I have been receiving a number of petitions on compensation not having been received even after 37 years of the riots having taken place. Earlier this month, I visited Tilak Nagar where many of the victims live and found that they live in pathetic conditions. They have not been provided homes – they had moved into unoccupied houses and they have not received ownership of these houses. They never received employment from the government, and still survive on odd jobs. This needs to be addressed and justice delivered,” says Chairperson National Minorities Commission Sardar Iqbal Singh Lalpura, speaking with The Indian Express.

Around 3,000 persons were believed to have been killed in the riots in Delhi.

Lalpura further said that of the 37 victims in Haryana state, six families were yet to receive any form of compensation and had been fighting in court. “This is the case in most states where there are victims. I have recommended to the government that it needs to certify the completion of these cases – including the full payment of the compensation and the action taken against the accused,” he added.

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